Here is something peculiar. Many autistic people report that they are visual thinkers. Temple Grandin, the famous animal behavior scientist/engineer, has written about 'thinking in pictures'. From early on in life I was like that too. When I was a small boy I read comic books before I could read (Donald Duck, etc). I … Continue reading Autism vs the Camera
From 2006 to 2016, I ran a website that I called Shy Highway. During that time I produced my second book, The Shyness Guide, then revised it, doubling it in size to what it is today. Along the way though, I got interested in autism. At first I tried to avoid the autism debate. It … Continue reading Is this the Autism Highway?
In my book The Shyness Guide, I discuss The Pipestone Wolves, a book by animal behaviorist Gunter Bloch about a family of wolves that lived in Canada's Banff National Park. Bloch writes about the shyness that is common in wolves, and most wild animals. But he has a concept of shyness that is different. After … Continue reading Shyness and Wolves | A new way of seeing ourselves?
Nothing about shyness bothers non-shy people more than the reluctance of shy people to talk. "What's the matter with you? Speak up! Be assertive! Stop hiding from us!" - that's their common refrain in workplaces, at school, etc. Why are social people like that? I think it starts with their instinctual need for communication. Never … Continue reading Rescuing Shyness | Resist the hostility of the social world
Words are not the same thing for those of us on the spectrum as they are for other people. From the time I entered elementary school as a small boy, I was very conscious of this. I couldn't put my thoughts into words then, but fifty or so years later I managed to do it … Continue reading Autism and Words
Here is some interesting new autism research. The website Spectrum News (spectrumnews.org) reports on the findings of neuroscientist Baoji Xu at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida re microglia, a protein in the brain that they say 'prunes' excess synapses in the brain. They engineered mice to overproduce a protein called EIF4E that is essential … Continue reading Autism | Mice and Microglia
In her 2008 book, Autism – A Very Short Introduction, psychologist Uta Frith discussed the "weak central coherence" theory. This is related to the tendency of autistic people to focus on detail. Walking through a forest an autistic person will see the trees and things on the forest floor – ferns, horsetails, fungi, insects, tiny … Continue reading Autism | Weak Central Coherence | Who can’t see the forest?
Recently I re-examined the 'Big Five' personality traits. This was in a 2007 online article by psychologist Nathalie Nahai (A Large-Scale Personality Research Method, also published in the 2017 anthology, Know This, edited by John Brockman, published by Harper Perennial and the Edge Foundation). They aren't new. The idea began in United States Air Force in … Continue reading The Big Five Personality Traits | Where did the introverts go? What about autism?
Some years ago I discovered that there was no website devoted to solitary people. So I created one and called it Loner's Highway – my previous blog that concentrated on the nature and life-experience of loners. But most loners are shy, and I began to regret leaving other shy people out, so I returned to … Continue reading Loners | Introverts, or ‘auties’ on the spectrum?