McGuire writes in more depth about the influence of capitalism in producing childhood and children as sites of ‘investment’ in potential futures (McGuire 2016 119-133). This in turn creates pressure for parents to produce optimal futures for their children by embracing interventions aimed at preventing, curing, or at least mitigating, disability (Carey, Block, and Scotch 2019).

In this conception of childhood, neuro-developmental disabilities, like autism, are constructed as an information-commodities. They are both a justification for clinical intervention, and a framework for understanding which interventions should be prescribed. In this process Autistic bodies and experiences are abstracted and objectified. Far from being an economic burden, Autistic people’s lives, and experiences of disability, become the grist that form the basis of an industry (Mallett and Runswick-Cole 2012; McGuire 2016, 126).

Manidoo Makwa Kwe


I think therapy can be a great thing for kids, even a life-changing thing. What I object to is the attitude that all kids with disabilities need therapy, and they all need it from the start, and they all need as much as they can get.

Garden of My Heart


Lovaas’s rhetorical construct of “recovery [to normalcy]” has proven to be so powerful and so culturally resonant for nearly 25 years […]

This explicit linking of the rhetorical construct of recovery [to normalcy] with a particular intervention methodology […] functions ideologically […] foregrounding and naturalizing the notion of ‘intervention’ as the only commonsense response

[…] Implicit in the testimony of both Carmen and Maurice is the assumption that one must do something upon coming to understand that one is the parent of an autistic child, one must intervene in some sort of active way, and that this intervention must involve changing or altering the child in some way.

The question considered by the parents above appears not to be whether to intervene, but rather, how to do so.

Alicia A. Broderick


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