In truth it is all of these things and more - and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. Following on from his groundbreaking article 'The Geek Syndrome', Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.
Going back to the earliest autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle while casting light on the growing movement of 'neurodiversity' and mapping out a path towards a more humane world for people with learning differences.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mrs. K. Locke on 21-01-17
A journey through the history of autism.
Many parent who have newly diagnosed autistic sons or daughters are at the beginning of a journey with their child to optimise their life chances. There are courses on offer and 'expert specialists' who can advise us, but where did the culture of diagnosis and treatments available develop and what precipitates their development. This book will help anyone develop an understanding of some of the challenges faced by families with autistic members. The book also charts the political, social and economic influences that have shaped what we recognise as autism today. As an autistic person and mother of two autistic children reading this book, it is wonderful to hear that resources are moving away from curing or eradicating to focus on support to integrate people affected by autism into a health daily life. Lorna Wing and Asperger emerge with Temple Grandin as the heroes of this book, I think they are also my heroes.
The book is more approachable to read than some academic works and offers an over view of some of the theories surrounding autism. Not shying away from the darker days of the Second World War in Europe and how many young children were murdered because of their disability, it is at time challenging but well worth reading.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
By TOOTSIE1071 on 27-09-17
Varied and informative.
Much easier to listen to than it was to read. Includes examples of successful autists while also showing those individuals who, along with their families struggle the most and their challenges and successes. Demonstrates how guidelines for the diagnosis have evolved and why. With an interesting look at those involved such as Leo Kanner, Hans Asperger, Lorna Wing, Wakefield and many other lesser known.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 14-08-18
So you think Autism is a recent invention?
A fascinating and thoroughly readable deep dive into the roots and history of autism through stories. Some stories made me angry - we have not always treated those who are different well - some made me laugh, some made me go 'ahh, that explains it'. I especially enjoyed the section on how those who have been diagnosed are taking ownership of the way autism is perceived and changing the focus from cure to support and community.
For most, this is a book to be read in sections overtime as it is a huge amount of information to process. The writing and the narration are both very easy to work with and not at all like listening to a text book. The author is a journalist after all.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who works with or knows someone or is on the spectrum.