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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Historically, research across disciplines has largely focused on the pathology of autism at the expense of the person who has autism, which, in part, perpetuates the notion that the pathology and the person are one and the same. This article builds upon the theory of personhood to propose an alternative epistemology for autism research that shifts the focus from a disease-based perspective to a person-based one. It explores this in the context of an applied medical ethnomusicology program: the Music-Play Project at FSU, which aims to benefit children with autism spectrum disorders. It limits itself to a discussion of certain aspects of the ontological grounding that is essential for any research that engages human beings—namely, a nurturing of personhood consciousness.

Keywords: autism, pathology, epistemology, disease-based perspective, Music-Play Project

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