There's a new book on neurodiversity - Neurotribes by Steve Silberman. And there's another one coming in a few months-In A Different Key from John Donvan and Caren Zucker. The books are putting neurodiversity in the news, and some say we're whitewashing the true nature of autism. As an autistic adult with an autistic son, I offer a dissenting view and inside perspective
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
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
Attacking autistic self advocates, and suggesting that the "only real autism" is the kind that calls for round-the-clock care is wrong, destructive, and frankly insulting. Better we join together and work toward a tomorrow that's better for all of us, by pooling our shared wisdom. Autistic people and autism parents are not natural born enemies. It only seems that way.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are on the cusp of reading minds, as they use a sophisticated MRI scanner to read and recognize emotions in subject's minds with striking accuracy. Even more significantly, they separate autistic from non-autistic subjects with 97% accuracy with nothing more than a few minutes in a scanner.
What does it mean, that Jerry Seinfeld speculates that he may be on the autism spectrum? His words generated a wide range of response, some welcoming and some very angry. I offer my own thoughts on the matter here
The Washington Post published an inflammatory article that suggested a connection between autism, head injury, mass murder, and serial killing. Autistic author John Elder Robison questions the validity of the arguments in the Post and offers his own perspective
What do the latest autism statistics really mean? Are they evidence of an epidemic, or signs of an unrecognized community that's finally coming into its own? Autistic author John Elder Robison shares his thoughts on autism's place in the world, and autistic humanity's role in society. Take a read, and tell us what you think.
Modern humans thrive on the caveman diets of our ancestors, even as our children fail on today's diet of schooling. I think it's time to return education to it's hands-on roots, as we're doing in progressive special ed programs right now. Once again, neurodiverse people are leading the way!
With all the talk of an expanded autism spectrum, and the changes in DSM5 I decided to go back to the original papers of Hans Asperger and Leo Kanner. How much has really changed in the presentation of autism, in the past 70 years? Less that you might think...
Neurodiversity—the idea that conditions like autism and ADHD are natural parts of humanity and not diseases to be cured—is a contentious topic. In this essay I offer what neurodiversity means to me—an adult with autism—and ask what it means for you.
Are "traditional" autism and Asperger's two distinct conditions, as depicted in DSM IV? Or are they points on a curve, and properly combined into the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) of DSM5? I explain and translate recent studies that shed light on the question.
Prosopagnosia (face blindness) and Alexithymia (blindness to emotions) are both more common than autism. Are they related? Are some people who identify as Asperger's actually better described by one or both of those disorders? Are they conditions independent, or interconnected?
What are some of the most aggravating things ordinary people say to folks on the autism spectrum. Where are they coming from? Are they dumb, smart, mean, clever, misguided, or is it all just us? It's time to open a dialogue...