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date: 21 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The term “neurodiversity” is commonly used to refer to intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorder, which are the neurodevelopmental disorders with the most severe impact on a person”s overall functioning along the life-span. Although a wide interpersonal variability, these conditions are associated with peculiarities in the subjective existential experience and in the psychological insight, with a particular reference to areas of emotionality, spirituality, practical skills, socialization, and psychic suffering. These peculiarities lead to a complex psycho-physical continuous vulnerability, including neurovegetative dystonia, lack of environmental mastery, low coping, difficulties in self-determination, repeated losses, and societal exclusion. Care provision should aim at improving quality of life, by enabling the “neurodiverse” (or “psycho-characterized”) person to pursue a self-development aimed at optimizing the relationship between importance and satisfaction in the most emic areas of life, such as being, belonging, and becoming.

Keywords: intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, neurodiversity, vulnerability, self-experience, practical experience, social experience, quality of life

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