Sex, Lies, and Autism Research—Getting Value for Our Money

In the past decade, we’ve spent over a billion dollars studying autism. Yet precious little has changed for autistic people. An autistic adult asks why, and offers some advice.

Neurodiversity and Autism in College

Another way to look at autism, neurodiversity, and how we face diversity as a society and as individuals.

Autism, Guardianship, Self Determination, and Housing

There's a controversy brewing over supported housing for autistic people. Are autistic communities supportive or oppressive? Who decides - autistics or parents?

The Controversy Around Autism and Neurodiversity

April is autism month. For some it's about acceptance. For other's its about awareness. Some want a cure and others just want to be left alone. And What about neurodiversity?

Autism in the South Pacific: A Different Way of Seeing?

Were Polynesian navigators who settled the Pacific autistic? Americans are used to thinking about autism in the context of disability. Other societies may have seen it different

Being Autistic at the Bottom of the World

Attitudes about autism vary greatly around the world.

Autism, Early Intervention, and the Desire to Play God

Emerging technology can help brains change themselves, without chemicals. The prospect is scary to many, and controversial.

Were the Timekeepers of the Ancient World Autistic?

Were the ancient calendars a product of early autistic thinkers? If so, is that one more example of their place in the early churches, guiding humanity?

Does Mom Know Best, or Do We Presume Autistic Competence?

In the autism community, parents often think they know best. But increasing numbers of young adult autistics challenge that notion.

Was the Father of Asperger Syndrome an Accomplice to Murder?

Many identify with Asperger's syndrome, a part of the Autism Spectrum. New revelations that Dr. Asperger may have participated in murder in WWII cast doubt on his legacy.

Sex, Dating. Car Repair, Communication

With their different styles and preferences for communication, autistic and non-autistic people may each be disabled when communicating with the other.

Does Neurodiversity Whitewash Autism?

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

Knowledge Is Power, in Community and Alone

We're just beginning to realize the vital importance of community among people with autism and other neurodiverse conditions. Here's why it matters and what you can do to take part.

Forgiveness and the Meaning of Memorial Day

We can forgive those who harm us, but we can't forgive those who kill us.

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

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

High Functioning Aspies Don't Know What Real Autism Is

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.

Recognizing Autism and Emotion in Brain Scans

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.

Jerry Seinfeld and Autism

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

What Does It Mean When I Say, "I'm Autistic?"

More and more, the words I'm autistic signify pride in neurodiversity, and membership in a previously unrecognized but substantial community. It's not to be taken lightly.

Religion and Autism, are they together or apart?

What's the connection between religion and autism? Why might today's autistics reject the church even as our ancestors may well have been church leaders?

Is Early Autism Intervention About to Become Too Early?

Is the potential for early intervention becoming "too early" for a truly informed decision on the nature and purpose of the therapy?

Serial Killers, Autism, and Mass Murder - Once Again

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
Autism - The Real Meaning of 1 in 68

Autism - The Real Meaning of 1 in 68

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.

Organic Education: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

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!

Letting Go of Asperger's—Not So Fast!

Thoughts on changes to the autism spectrum definition, the place of Asperger's, the value of DSM5, and Hanna Rosin's recent Atlantic piece, "Letting Go of Asperger's."

The Autism Spectrum: Has It Really Changed?

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...

What is Neurodiversity?

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.

Autism and Asperger's: Two Separate Conditions, or Not?

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.

Autism and Porn: A Problem No One Talks About

Are young adult males with autism more vulnerable to the lure of illegal pornography? I explore the reasons this might be true, and what we can do about it