Whenever I do a post here about autism, I get four times as many visits as I do for anything else. That's a bit odd, when you consider that autism is supposed to be a rare condition. In the past I've tried to avoid the autism debate. It's so full of dissension, misstatements, and misunderstandings. … Continue reading Is this the Autistic Highway?
In my novels The Birdcatcher and Skol, and in The Shyness Guide, I’ve said that I think shyness and autism are both usually natural. I've also suggested that, in some people, they may be related to each other. This perception of them isn’t supported by any research as far as I know. But when I … Continue reading Shyness & Autism – Are they related?
Something that never seems to be talked about in the autism debates, is the different way words work for those who are autistic - and/or solitary or shy - vs those who are 'normal'. From the time I entered elementary school as a small boy, I was conscious of how different words were for me. … Continue reading Autism and Words
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, … Continue reading Autism | Weak Central Coherence | Who can’t see the forest?
When a van drove down Yonge Street April 23, 2018, our first real spring day in this city, deliberately attacking pedestrians, killing 10 and injuring at least 14, it was with added dismay that I learned that the alleged driver, Alek Minassian, age 25, has been diagnosed with Asperger's. It wasn't a surprise though. Young … Continue reading Autism and Toronto’s Van Rampage
This week I discovered the July 29, 2011 Science News article by Laura Sanders, "One Problem, Many Paths", which described some interesting research on the DNA and associated “neural proteins” in autistic families. The families were studied in groups of approximately 1000 families, including many families where the parents were not autistic. As with … Continue reading Autism|One Problem, Many Paths
Recently I found some interesting research on the DNA of autism. This was an article by psychologist Laura Sanders - One Problem, Many Paths - that I found in the August 13, 2011 edition of Science News. Two studies of families where neither parent was affected by autism, but there was one high-functioning autistic child, identified roughly … Continue reading Autism | One Problem, Many Paths
The biggest problem with autism is that no one knows what it is,or what causes it. That's why the debates about it are so confusing and unrewarding. People aren't talking about the same thing. I was very interested in autism when I was writing The Birdcatcher, and that continued as I worked on The Shyness Guide. In both books … Continue reading The Autism Matrix – a new vision
Did you, like me, use to think autism was some form of mental retardation? If so, you and I weren't wrong. But we weren't right either. In my case, it wasn't until the 1990s that I began to understand that there are intelligent, socially functioning autistic people in the world - those with Asperger's, etc. … Continue reading The Autism Matrix | a review