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SCSB Colloquium Series: The Intact Mind and Why It Matters [Amy Lutz, Ph.D.]

March 6 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2024
Location: 46-3002 (Singleton Auditorium) + Zoom Webinar: https://mit.zoom.us/j/91052434159 

Speaker: Amy S.F. Lutz, Ph.D.

Affiliation: Senior Lecturer, History and Sociology of Science Department, University of Pennsylvania; Vice-President, National Council on Severe Autism

Host: Dr. Mriganka Sur

Talk title: The Intact Mind and Why It Matters

Abstract: In her 2006 memoir Strange Son, Cure Autism Now co-founder Portia Iversen described the “intact mind” she believed was buried within even the most cognitively impaired autistic individuals, like her son Dov. But the sentiment itself was not new. Emerging largely out of psychoanalytic theory dating back to the mid 20th century, the intact mind was amplified in parent memoirs even as biomedical discourse consolidated in the 1970s around a very different depiction of autism: as a biologically based, intractable neurodevelopmental disorder.  With as many as 1 out of every 36 American children now affected, according to the CDC, discourse originally unique to autism has come to inform current debates at the heart of intellectual and developmental disability practice and policy in the United States – including ongoing battles over 14(c) subminimum wage programs, guardianship, and facilitated communication.


March 6
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Singleton Auditorium, Bldg. 46, Room 3002
43 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA 02139 United States
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Simons Center for the Social Brain