Autism | Do we know what it is? | A review of The Autism Matrix: The Social Origins of the Autism Epidemic

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

Autism |Toronto’s van rampage 4 | Alek Minassian convicted – what now?

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?

Shyness and Wolves | A new way of seeing ourselves?

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?

Rescuing Shyness | Resist the hostility of the social world

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