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 you almost never hear of it. The concept of autism was first presented in the 1940s, more or less simultaneously, by New York psychiatrist Leo Kanner and Austrian psychologist Hans Asperger. … Continue reading Autism | Where did it come from? |A review of The Autism Matrix
I've been asking myself this question since the American Psychiatric Association (APA) published the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth edition) in 2013, which dropped the Asperger's diagnosis. But it took me a while to get my hands on a copy of the DSM-5. This week I examined the section on the … Continue reading Autism|Is Asperger’s gone?
When there are more than 600 books about shyness for sale on Amazon, you might wonder why I wrote another one. How could there be anything left to say? Well, because shyness is almost never understood the way I understand it. My central idea is that shyness is natural in most shy people. It's part … Continue reading Why did I write The Shyness Guide?
Yes, after a prolonged delay that I won't try to explain, I have finally got the ebook for sale on Amazon. This week, from Wed Oct 10 to Sunday Oct 14, you can download it FREE at any Amazon site (see below). The Shyness Guide is not just a different look at shyness. It's a … Continue reading The Shyness Guide ebook is here
Long before I heard about autism, I was thinking about it. I was a loner from the beginning – as a boy entering school at 5 yrs old, I didn't keep to myself by choice – I did it by instinct. I was completely unable to have friends. As Chris Stone says in my novel … Continue reading Autism and the Simpleton
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?