One morning this week, editing my 2012 journal, I came upon a surprise that surprised me again – in physicist Lisa Randall's book Knocking on Heaven's Door (her book about expectations for the Large Hadron Collider), near the end of the book, she makes a comment to the effect that some scientists, like autistic people, … Continue reading Autism | Lack of creativity?
Sociologist Gil Eyal's 2010 book The Autism Matrix: The Social Origins of the Autism Epidemic was a bombshell in the debate over autism. Yet over a decade later almost no one appears to have heard the explosion. The concept of autism was first presented in the 1940s, more or less simultaneously, by New York psychiatrist … Continue reading Autism | Do we know what it is? | A review of The Autism Matrix: The Social Origins of the Autism Epidemic
For some reason the fate of Alek Minassian continues to haunt me. How is it, I ask myself, that someone who killed 10 people and injured 16 more, some permanently, running them down in his rented van here in Toronto 15 minutes walk from my home, now convicted and awaiting sentencing, continues to elicit sympathy … Continue reading Autism |Toronto’s van rampage 4 | Alek Minassian convicted – what now?
Alex Minassian's trial finally took place and, to no-one's surprise, he was convicted.
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