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Spirituality, Spiritual Care and the needs of those with Autistic Spectrum Conditions

Barber, Chris and KEVERN, Peter (2012) Spirituality, Spiritual Care and the needs of those with Autistic Spectrum Conditions. Journal for the study of spirituality, 1 (2). pp. 203-214. ISSN 2044-0243

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Abstract or description

Th e rediscovery of spirituality in the last fifty years, particularly in secular institutions in the UK such as the National Health Service (NHS), has been characterized by an emerging stress on relationships, affective attachment and experiences of connectedness. This has been expressed in ‘spiritual care’ strategies that separate spirituality from any reference to religion. Although the intention may be to widen the remit of spiritual care to include people of all religions and none, this approach may paradoxically exclude those whose spirituality is not expressed primarily in affective terms.
In this article these issues are discussed through reflection on the experience of one of the authors, a nurse with a diagnosis of high-functioning autism. The argument is made that an individualistic and ritually impoverished generic spirituality is not adequate to the demands
of social inclusion on the one hand or religious validity on the other. Public institutions such as the National Health Service (NHS) need to engage with both the social and historical practices of religious communities if they are not to exclude vulnerable individuals from the provision of ‘spiritual care’.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: autism; Asperger’s; spirituality; spiritual care; religion.
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Health Sciences > Social Work, Allied and Public Health
Depositing User: Peter KEVERN
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2013 14:32
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:35
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