Accepted Paper:

has pdf download How autism is lived: ethnographic notes on the care that recovers the development  


Leonardo Campoy (PUC-PR)

Paper short abstract:

How autism can be cared? Based on ethnography, I propose to indicate that stimulation and orientation are practiced as a daily way of development and to demonstrate that this "care that develops" is the way how the chronicity of autism is elaborated by its agents.

Paper long abstract:

Biomedical professionals say that autism cannot be cured.

They say that it will remain within the person until her last days of

life. But, on the other side, they say that its damages can be

mitigated, they say that proper stimulation and orientation can reduce

the impact of autism in a person's body and mind. This way of dealing

with this mental pathology is what the biomedical professionals and the

therapists would call recovery for the autistics. Taking stimulation and

orientation together, it can be said that, for autism, recovery is a way

of care that aims to develop the person. To work, this care has to be

intensively done in a daily basis throughout the person`s life.

How this "care that develops" is done in practice? I have been doing

ethnography with professionals and families that deal with autism in

Brazil, accompanying their practices and efforts to bring more "quality

of life" for the autistic. I would like to demonstrate that this "care

that develops" only works if it is practiced in a quotidian basis, that

is to say, if life becomes a never-ending act of stimulation and


This will only be achieved if a collective of persons, actions, ideas

and objects are mobilized. To develop an autistic person, not only the

biomedical professionals and the therapists are working, but, also, a

whole compound of agents are stimulating and orientating the infant. The

family, here, is the main center of this work of collective collaboration.

Panel P098
Living with chronic illness: challenges and perspectives across borders