disability, autonomy, dependence, independence Inter(in)dependence, growth, adulthood


The article focuses on the autonomy achieved by a person with disabilities in connection with a network that has to make the imaginary project feasible. A multidisciplinary reading on the concept of autonomy that is related to the idea of dependence and independence is essential within this network. Furthermore, possible autonomies are presented, dealing with spheres of the human being that are usually regarded as inaccessible to a person with disabilities, such as the sexual sphere, living alone, social life and work. These aspects of life belong to adulthood, which every human being undertakes at some point in their life. But the latter is not usually recognized to the person with disabilities, locking them up in a dimension of non-growth and "eternal child". The concept of autonomy implies dependence. As the Argentine pedagogist Myrtha Chokler reminds us, "there is no autonomy without dependence". We all depend on everyone, children and adults: in our life, we talk about co-dependence or mutual dependence. On the other hand, autonomy also means self-governance, i.e. not doing things for oneself, but doing for oneself.  This represents an important dimension of autonomy: the will. In the educational field, autonomy requires a mutual involvement between educator and student which is characterized by a mutual affective and emotional dependence in which the will always remain the central focus of the student's action, without it slipping into obedience. Autonomy, therefore, is a conquest. A process in which the adult educator, who takes care of the student, works on the educative relationship through trust, freedom of movement, affective security, within a safe space, physical but also emotional, in which there is openness to novelty and change. This requires the creation of an environment that welcomes the pleasure of the student (especially at an early age) to be autonomous, that welcomes his attempts that will be the way to learn not to depend on the adult. And for all this, an indeterminate and personalized amount of time is required.


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