What is autism: a lifelong disability or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth it is both of these things and more - and the future of our society depends on our understanding it.
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 days of 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 mapping out a path for our society toward a more humane world in which people with learning differences and those who love them have access to the resources they need to live happier, healthier, more secure, and more meaningful lives.
Along the way he reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger's syndrome, whose "little professors" were targeted by the darkest social-engineering experiment in human history; exposes the covert campaign by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner to suppress knowledge of the autism spectrum for 50 years; and casts light on the growing movement of "neurodiversity" activists seeking respect, support, technological innovation, accommodations in the workplace and in education, and the right to self-determination for those with cognitive differences.
©2015 Steve Silberman (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I'm a service provider for people with autism, and this book really organized and crystallized the information I've been getting in bits and pieces for years. I felt the community described by this book and I agreed with so much of what Silberman was saying. I appreciated it on different levels- the natural history of autism was a really complicated progression. A lot of the questions and misinformation I frequently hear were addressed if not cleared up by the book. The anecdotes and personal experiences resonated with me, and made me feel like other people have seen and gone through the same kinds of experiences as me and the families I work with.
It's not that kind of book... But I guess Leo was my favorite because I feel like I know kids like him, right down to the straw twirling.
I really appreciated that the author was sympathetic and gentle in talking about biomedical cures and the antivaccination movement, while also unquestionably calling them nonsense time-wasters.
The content set around WWII was shocking.
The only thing I felt I wanted was more discussion of how hard it is for caretakers. There was a huge call to action for families and communities to support children and adults with autism, but the author basically implies that being anything but a stay-at-home parent and full-time autism advocate will put your kid at a disadvantage. This is a pie-in-the-sky sort of sentiment- what are the single parents and lower SES families supposed to do? On the other hand, he does list a ton of community resources, internet listserves, and message boards, so if I wanted to follow up and learn more about what happens in the real world he did provide resources.
I have lost track of how many times I cried during this book and at times it was all I could do to continue listening. Silberman reveals many heartbreaking truths about the history of autism but still manages to lift you up when you need it. Rather than being a dry historical account NeuroTribes helped me to realise how much "malware" I had unconsciously taken on board by identifying the historical roots of those beliefs. Thoughts I have about being defective and worthless are not my thoughts at all but a part of a twisted ideal of normality and conformity. After reading this book I feel more awake to my innate worthiness as a living being on this planet. Not better or worse than anyone else just different. I also have a new appreciation for role environment plays and in cultivating a world that I fit into rather than trying to fit into a world where I don't belong. NeuroTribes is not just a historical curiosity but a paradigm smashing new understanding of reality. This book gets tough at times but it is totally worth every ache, every tear. Only through understanding the old paradigm can we start creating the new.
If you are a parent, family member, teacher, clinician, advocate, friend or neighbor of an Autistic person...please read this book. This is the true history of the struggles and horrors and wrong roads taken to bring us to accepting the Spectrum of Autism. The book has many heroes who persevered for dignity and truth for the 1000's or millions affected by Autism. The book also documents the misguided self-serving individuals that took us on the wrong paths which wasted precious lives and valuable time and caused unforgivable heartache and blame. As a mother of a 34 year old Autistic woman, I now see why, in her early years, a clear diagnosis was nearly impossible. The goal is acceptance of these individuals and recognition of the gifts they bring to their friends, families and to our world. I don't need my daughter to be cured...I just need her to be accepted.
This book describes the history of autism and how it has been viewed over the last >150 years. It covers the tragic work of Andrew Wakefield (linking autism to the MMR vaccine), the evolving description of the condition in the DSM, the resulting "increase" of cases in Silicon Valley, and finally the emergence of the "Aspie" identity and the desire of the group to self-abdicate.
I'm on the "Spectrum" myself, (so not objective), but I think anyone with the most remote connection to the Syndrome would benefit from reading this book.
I'm a speech language pathologist who has recently begun working with autistic children . This book gave me good background and insight into autism and what families go through, as well as the different levels of autism . It was easy to understand and very informative . It gave me great ideas in working with this population. I highly recommend it. It was quite interesting and well-written
I have recommended this book to at least 10 people in the last few weeks. The section on the historical treatment of people with autism was difficult and could be hard for a parent to hear, but the rest of the book provides insight into the gifts of the autistic mind. This book changed the way I view the role of neuro-diversity in our society.
I would. But that person would really need to have an interest in the subject.
This is a very excessive acount on the history of autisme and its many faces.
A good and detailed book, but the length of it means, that it is not for everyone. This is not a brief account so you should really have an interest in this. Maybe you a close relative with an autist child or is autistic himself. Maybe you work with persons with autism.
Even if you don't have a loved one on the spectrum this is an incredible read/listen!!!! I do, but was blown away by the incredible historical perspective I didn't expect to get. Everything about this book is important and valuable and I highly recommend it!
Neurotribes brings us the history of autism and how we came to understand this condition as we do today. And we are empowered to see through the autistic mind, the world as it looks like.
I would recomend this book to everyone, spetially whom feel the urge for a cure.
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