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Silence doesn’t mean there is no thinking or doing – just that I haven’t got round to pulling my ideas together in any coherent way!

One of the ideas I have been playing with is the autistic spectrum domain as a community of practice. In some ways it fits the model, but in other ways it is more an amalgam of several communities of practice, not all of which share identical goals, values, etc. That has taken me into thinking about tribes and whether the autistic domain is made up of a number of tribal groupings rather than CoPs.  Either way, it makes mapping the domain tricky. I’ve got some diagrams, but somehow they don’t tell the whole story.

I’m increasingly aware that I am looking at, and talking about, a domain, a system (or interlocking of subsystems which may not form a system) and there is a very real danger of forgetting that there is a child at the centre.

What are the processes of the different subsystems and what are they acting on – the person or something/someone else?

A whole series of metaphors come to mind – battlefield, maze, jungle, snakes and ladders …

Also thinking about autistic domain in context – it doesn’t exist in isolation. Apart from current debates about diagnosis and inclusion, there is a whole back history of attitudes to learning disabilities and impairment and another history of attitudes to how children should behave and behaviour disturbances. Just what did we do with children who didn’t behave as it was thought they should in the past?

Against this reading again some of Griff Foley’s and Rachel Gouin’s ideas about learning in the context of social struggle and their emphasis on lived experience. Is there a link between social struggle in a socio-political context and struggle getting the needs met of a child on the autistic spectrum?


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