Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar


  • Katherine Tyson
  • Deborah Fein
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_185-3



A principle that promotes providing services for individuals with developmental disorders (e.g., autism spectrum disorders, or ASDs) and learning disorders in order to ensure their access to environments and experiences as similar as possible to those available to typically developing individuals. Nirje (1980) defined normalization as making “the regular circumstances and ways of life or society” (p. 33) available to individuals with learning difficulties.

When first adopted, normalization was instrumental in reducing the frequently inhumane institutionalization of these individuals and providing both community-based and other alternative services. The normalization movement began in the 1960s and 1970s in Scandinavia, with other European countries and the United States following. Initially, normalization served as a philosophical foundation for reorganizing the provision of services for individuals with developmental delays...

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References and Reading

  1. Ferraioli, S. J., & Harris, S. L. (2011). Effective educational inclusion of students on the autism spectrum. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 41, 19–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Mesibov, G. B. (1990). Normalization and its relevance today. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 20, 379–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Nirje, B. (1980). The normalization principle. In R. J. Flynn & K. E. Nitsch (Eds.), Normalization, social integration, and community services (pp. 31–50). Baltimore: University Park Press.Google Scholar
  4. Rehm, R. S., & Bradley, J. F. (2005). Normalization in families raising a child who is medically fragile/technology dependent and developmentally delayed. Qualitative Research, 15, 807–820.Google Scholar
  5. Renzaglia, A., Karvnone, M., Drasgow, E., & Stoxen, C. (2003). Promoting a lifetime of inclusion. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 18, 140–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chapel Hill Pediatric Psychology, P.A.Chapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological SciencesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA