Neurodiversity

While many with autism and Asperger's Syndrome wish to improve their social skills and cope with life in a more effective way, many are also proud of their unusual way of looking at the world.

The neurodiversity movement, a controversial one, embraces and celebrates the differences and unique abilities exhibited by people with autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

Recent Posts on Autism

The Surprising News about Children's Mental Health

How mentally healthy are today’s children and teens? A comprehensive new survey shows that the current generation of young people are in better shape than we’ve realized. However, trends in medication use continue to draw concern by mental health experts.

That’s Why I’m Here

Children and adolescents are really good at learning to control their psychophysiological processes because that's the business they're in. Self-regulating our own physiology, emotion and cognition is often more powerful than externally applied therapies. It is time to revolutionize health and care by balancing skills with pills -- helping children change their minds.

Reassessing Asperger's

A person with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) has difficulty with Theory of Mind: our ability to appreciate another person's point of view. But AS people can be very adept at noticing what people think and feel about them. This is a different perspective on perspective: that we are more interested in what people think or feel about us and later about what they think or feel.

Diametric Differences in Seeing the Other’s Point of View

Both tendencies to autism and proneness to psychosis induce perspective-taking errors, but their interaction reduces these errors: a finding only explicable by the diametric model.

Was United Airlines Justified in Removing an Autistic Child?

By Denise Cummins Ph.D. on May 12, 2015 in Good Thinking
Real world problem situations require thinking on your feet. They require problem-solving, not mindless application of rules.

The Beneficial Effects of Animals on Children With Autism

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on May 04, 2015 in Animals and Us
Temple Grandin told me that some (but not all) people with autism have a special way with animals. This new study examined the biological mechanisms behind the soothing effects Guinea pigs can have on children with autism spectrum disorders.

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Do You Know the Facts?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts the lives of many families.

All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism

In an exclusive interview, authors Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer discuss their acclaimed book, "All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism." Not just any children's book, it includes a reading guide about the challenges and strengths of individuals on the autism spectrum, along with tips and support information for parents and caregivers.

The Cerebellum, Cerebral Cortex, and Autism Are Intertwined

Neuroscientists have identified a new marker for autism based on abnormal connectivity between specific regions of the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex.

April is Autism Awareness / Acceptance Month

People say April is Autism Month, which implies celebration. Yet autism is a disability, isn't it? So what do people celebrate this month, and why? Some thoughts from autistic author John Elder Robison

Being Misunderstood

By Lynne Soraya on March 30, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
Looking back at my life, if I were to identify a common theme, it is feeling misunderstood. It sounds so much like a cliché, that many roll their eyes when hearing the phrase. “Everyone feels misunderstood,” they say. But what’s interesting is that those in my life who have said that, have gradually come to realize that it is true.

How Does Practice Hardwire Long-Term Muscle Memory?

Why is it that once you've learned how to ride a bicycle or serve a tennis ball that you never forget the muscle memory involved in these actions? A team of neuroscientists recently pinpointed a new mechanism behind the consolidation of long-term motor memory.

Neurodiversity: What Does It Mean for 2015?

I write and speak a lot about what neurodiversity is, and what it means for society and for individuals and families. My thinking has evolved over the years in conversation with colleagues and friends in the advocacy, scientific, and higher education communities. Here's a new essay I've written to celebrate Autism Acceptance 2015

Shopping While Autistic

By Lynne Soraya on March 23, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
Have you ever seen a child having a breakdown in the middle of a grocery store? What’s your reaction to that child? Do you judge, or do you wonder what they’re experiencing? Well, I can give you an idea of what they might be going through.

If Selfish Genes Build Brains, Why Aren’t We All Solipsists?

Contrary to what you might think, the “selfish gene” paradigm does not imply that we should be self-centered to the point of believing that only we exist.

The Cerebellum Deeply Influences Our Thoughts and Emotions

Yesterday there was a report on NPR about groundbreaking new research on the cerebellum from Harvard Medical School. The latest neuroscience shows that the cerebellum plays an important role in creating fluidity between our thoughts, actions, emotions, and cognitive processes.

Why We Need People Who Care About Us

Empathy erosion occurs when people fail to attend to the humanity—the feelings, interests, kinship, etc—of others. Either they don’t cognitively understand others’ feelings or they aren’t emotionally affected by others’ feelings.

What My Son Has Taught Me About Autism and Parenting

By Stephen Borgman on March 10, 2015 in Spectrum Solutions
Here's a simple way to improve your parenting on the autism spectrum.

The Cerebellum Holds Many Clues for Creating Humanoid Robots

Recent discoveries show that the cerebellum (Latin for "little brain") holds vital clues for the future creation of sentient robots and androids that are featured in upcoming blockbuster movies like Chappie, Ex Machina, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

How Youth Wind Up Taking Antipsychotic Medications

Yes, the number of kids taking antipsychotic medications is rising, but what does that mean? A new study begins to illuminate the process being the prescriptions.

Envisioning the Future for Your Child with Autism

By Chantal Sicile-Kira on February 25, 2015 in The Autism Advocate
When envisioning the future of your child as an adult – any child – it’s important to focus on the strengths that are apparent. And as the parent of a child with autism, it’s even more important. The strengths your child has will help him overcome his deficits, perhaps even become a way for your child to be employed as an adult, or be motivated to learn new skills.

The Sound Of Silence

By Lynne Soraya on February 21, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
I have recently come face-to-face with a fact about myself: I have a problem with silence. I’m not really sure why.

Asked and Answered

By Amy S.F. Lutz on February 20, 2015 in Inspectrum
Hundreds of individuals with developmental disabilities, families, providers and advocates came out yesterday to oppose New Jersey's plan to force all waiver recipients into integrated settings -- whether or not full community inclusion is safe, appropriate, or even desired -- with speakers calling the restrictions "violations of the ADA."

Mr. Putin, Would You Lie Still So We Can Scan Your Brain?

By Gregg Murray Ph.D. on February 15, 2015 in Caveman Politics
How do we predict dangerous leaders' actions when they won't answer our proven psychological questionnaires or lie still for our fMRI bran scans? Well, here are a couple of choices.

Your Child With Autism: Life as an Adult & Planning Ahead

By Chantal Sicile-Kira on February 09, 2015 in The Autism Advocate
Once your child starts is no longer eligible for school services under IDEA because he or she has graduated from high or aged out of school services (at age 22 in most states), there is nothing guaranteed for your adult child. Your adult child may be eligible for services, but that does not mean that he or she will receive services. Planning ahead is necessary.

The Diagnostic Swamp of Childhood Bipolar Disorder NOS

Just published in one of the world’s leading psychiatric journals is a study documenting the dramatic change in bipolar disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) diagnosed in children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years from 1999 to 2010.

Rigidity v Chaos: A Diametric Model of Brain Networks

A new schema of semantic networks in the hemispheres of the brain fits the diametric model perfectly.

Discover This One Secret That Will Change Your Life

By Stephen Borgman on January 31, 2015 in Spectrum Solutions
Millionaires commit and dedicate themselves to this simple habit. Why not you?

On Vaccines and Autism: An Open Letter to Larry Wilmore

By David Kyle Johnson Ph.D. on January 29, 2015 in A Logical Take
Larry Wilmore, the host of The Nightly Show, knows that vaccines are safe and effective. Unfortunately, he has no idea how to host a show that communicates that fact.

Synesthesia and Neurodiversity

By Maureen Seaberg on January 27, 2015 in Sensorium
The neurodiversity movement grew out of the autism community