"A groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently"--
Winner of the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize A Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller Foreword by Oliver Sacks What is autism: a devastating developmental condition, a lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more - and the future of our society depends on our understanding it. Following on from his groundbreaking article 'The Geek Syndrome', Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years. Going back to the earliest autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle while casting light on the growing movement of 'neurodiversity' and mapping out a path towards a more humane world for people with learning differences.
Digby Tantam presents his ground-breaking theory of the interbrain, the idea that human beings are endlessly connected by a continuous interplay of non-verbal communication of which we are unaware. Considering social smiles and the way emotions can spread from one person to another, he explores the research that shows how our brains are linked and draws out the implications of the interbrain for our understanding of empathy, social communication, psychology and group behaviour. Exploring this often overlooked aspect of our human nature, Tantam demonstrates how the interbrain has huge significance for psychology, psychiatry and sociology and can transform our understanding of war, morality, terrorism, psychopathy and much more.
ADHD. dyslexia. autism. the number of illness categories listed by the American Psychiatric Association has tripled in the last fifty years. With so many people affected, it is time to revisit our perceptions on this “culture of disabilities.” Bestselling author, psychologist, and educator Thomas Armstrong illuminates a new understanding of neuropsychological disorders. He argues that if they are a part of the natural diversity of the human brain, they cannot simply be defined as illnesses. Armstrong explores the evolutionary advantages, special skills, and other positive dimensions of these conditions. A manifesto as well as a keenly intelligent look at “disability,” The Power of Neurodiversity is a must for parents, teachers, and anyone who is “differently brained.”
Whip-smart, hilarious, and unapologetically honest, Rachel Lucas's The State of Grace is a heartwarming story of one girl trying to work out where she fits in, and whether she even wants to. “Sometimes I feel like everyone else was handed a copy of the rules for life and mine got lost.” Grace is autistic and has her own way of looking at the world. She's got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that's pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn't make much sense to her any more. Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it's up to Grace to fix it on her own.
When first published in 2008, The Australian Autism Handbook quickly became the go-to guide for parents whose children have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The Complete Autism Handbook is a practical and comprehensive guide to every aspect of raising an ASD child. Including: * What is ASD? - Early signs and symptoms * Getting a Diagnosis * Early Intervention – early intervention is vital in helping a child with ASD * The Medical Maze – explains the evidence based medical theories behind ASD and why there is such controversy In this new edition, the book has been completely revised and updated with new chapters on: Dads and Siblings Teen issues Expanded information on autism and Asperger’s syndrome Updated information on early intervention DSM5 diagnostic criteria The second part of the book is an invaluable Resource Guide which lists each federal and state supports plus a comprehensive list of websites and books.
This is the story of a long-lasting relationship, surviving against the odds. It is the story of Wenn and Beatrice Lawson, born almost twelve years apart in different countries with different cultures, who were both assigned female at birth. After nineteen years of marriage and four children, Wenn entered a same-sex relationship with Beatrice. Little did Beatrice know that twenty-two years later, Wenn would transition from female to male. This unique and honest memoir tells the story of Wenn's transition and Beatrice's journey alongside him. Co-written by Wenn and Beatrice, who are both on the autism spectrum, this book offers a rare insight into an older couple's experience of transition, with particular emphasis on how Beatrice really felt about the changes. Without holding back, they tell the true story of the conflicts, challenges and growing celebration and joy that can arise from transitioning together as a couple.
A powerful and inspiring examination of the connection between the potential for great talent and conditions commonly thought to be “disabilities,” revealing how the source of our struggles can be the origin of our greatest strengths. In The Power of Different, psychiatrist and bestselling author Gail Saltz examines the latest scientific discoveries, profiles famous geniuses who have been diagnosed with all manner of brain “problems”—including learning disabilities, ADD, anxiety, Depression, Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Autism—and tells the stories of lay individuals to demonstrate how specific deficits in certain areas of the brain are directly associated with the potential for great talent. Saltz shows how the very conditions that cause people to experience difficulty at school, in social situations, at home, or at work, are inextricably bound to creative, disciplinary, artistic, empathetic, and cognitive abilities. In this pioneering work, readers will find engaging scientific research and stories from historical geniuses and everyday individuals who have not only made the most of their conditions, but who have flourished because of them. They are leaning into their brain differences to: *Identify areas of interest and expertise *Develop work arounds *Create the environments that best foster their talents *Forge rewarding interpersonal relationships Enlightening and inspiring, The Power of Different proves that the unique wiring of every brain can be a source of strength and productivity, and contributes to the richness of our world.
A sensory portrait of an autistic mind From childhood, Laura James knew she was different. She struggled to cope in a world that often made no sense to her, as though her brain had its own operating system. It wasn't until she reached her forties that she found out why: Suddenly and surprisingly, she was diagnosed with autism. With a touching and searing honesty, Laura challenges everything we think we know about what it means to be autistic. Married with four children and a successful journalist, Laura examines the ways in which autism has shaped her career, her approach to motherhood, and her closest relationships. Laura's upbeat, witty writing offers new insight into the day-to-day struggles of living with autism, as her extreme attention to sensory detail--a common aspect of her autism--is fascinating to observe through her eyes. As Laura grapples with defining her own identity, she also looks at the unique benefits neurodiversity can bring. Lyrical and lush, Odd Girl Out shows how being different doesn't mean being less, and proves that it is never too late for any of us to find our rightful place in the world.
One of the world's leading authorities on autism suggests a major shift in understanding autism and offers inspiring stories and practical advice drawn from his more than four-decade career.
This book contains the latest research on assessment, diagnosis, treatment, intervention and support of individuals with ASD, and examines their implications at various stages of life. A wide range of neurological, genetic, psychological, developmental, social, and emotional issues are covered.
Finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction An extraordinary narrative history of autism: the riveting story of parents fighting for their children ’s civil rights; of doctors struggling to define autism; of ingenuity, self-advocacy, and profound social change Nearly seventy-five years ago, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family’s odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, and of the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it. Unfolding over decades, it is a beautifully rendered history of ordinary people determined to secure a place in the world for those with autism—by liberating children from dank institutions, campaigning for their right to go to school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different. It is the story of women like Ruth Sullivan, who rebelled against a medical establishment that blamed cold and rejecting “refrigerator mothers” for causing autism; and of fathers who pushed scientists to dig harder for treatments. Many others played starring roles too: doctors like Leo Kanner, who pioneered our understanding of autism; lawyers like Tom Gilhool, who took the families’ battle for education to the courtroom; scientists who sparred over how to treat autism; and those with autism, like Temple Grandin, Alex Plank, and Ari Ne’eman, who explained their inner worlds and championed the philosophy of neurodiversity. This is also a story of fierce controversies—from the question of whether there is truly an autism “epidemic,” and whether vaccines played a part in it; to scandals involving “facilitated communication,” one of many treatments that have proved to be blind alleys; to stark disagreements about whether scientists should pursue a cure for autism. There are dark turns too: we learn about experimenters feeding LSD to children with autism, or shocking them with electricity to change their behavior; and the authors reveal compelling evidence that Hans Asperger, discoverer of the syndrome named after him, participated in the Nazi program that consigned disabled children to death. By turns intimate and panoramic, In a Different Key takes us on a journey from an era when families were shamed and children were condemned to institutions to one in which a cadre of people with autism push not simply for inclusion, but for a new understanding of autism: as difference rather than disability.
How parents and professionals can help spectrum kids become successful adults
The acclaimed approach to helping children with autism, profiled in the award-winning documentary Autism: The Musical This groundbreaking book outlines seven integrated keys for educators and parents to make meaningful connections with children on the autism spectrum. The book is based on the unique approach used by Elaine Hall and Diane Isaacs of The Miracle Project, a musical theater program for children with autism and their peers and siblings. The Miracle Project integrates traditional and creative therapies in an interactive, social dynamic. The book shows how to apply these effective strategies at school and at home to nurture kids' self-expression and social skills. Elaine Hall and The Miracle Project were profiled in the two-time Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary, Autism: The Musical Seven Keys reveals the seven-step program that has proven so successful for children in the Miracle Project After reading Seven Keys teachers and parents will better understand this puzzling disorder and be able to help children with autism draw connections and form more meaningful relationships Seven Keys to Unlock Autism offers readers strategies for creating a personal skill set to make their encounters with autistic children as successful and rewarding as possible.
`This deceptively little book contains more truth and provides more insight into what it is like to have Asperger's Syndrome than many a weighty tome on the subject. It offers a view from the inside, but it is not yet another autobiography. Admirably and refreshingly, the author has refrained from giving an account solely based on her own experiences. Instead she sets out observations from 25 different suffers, giving often astonishing and sometimes harrowing glimpses of what actually happens to a child with Asperger's Syndrome in the classroom, in the playground, in the lunch queue and at home' - The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry This award-winning book illuminates what it means to be a person who has Aspergers Syndrome by providing a window into a unique and particular world. Drawing on her own experience of schooling, and that of a network of friends and correspondents who share her way of thinking and responding, Clare Sainsbury reminds us of the potential for harm which education holds for those who do not fit. This book holds insights that take us beyond the standard guidance on how to manage autistic spectrum disorder. It challenges the way we might handle obsessional behaviour. It invites us to celebrate the pure passion of the intellect, which such obsessions can represent, and to recognise the delight which can be experienced by children who love to collect. It reminds us that many of the autistic mannerisms we might try to suppress actually help the child to think. This revised edition includes an additional introduction and extensive summary of research in the field of Asperger's Syndrome, both by Tony Attwood.
Challenging existing approaches to autism that limit, and sometimes damage, the individuals who attract and receive the label, this book questions the lazy prejudices and assumptions that can surround autism as a diagnosis in the 21st Century. Arguing that autism can only be understood through examining 'it' as a socially or culturally produced phenomenon, the authors offer a critique of the medical model that has produced a perpetually marginalising approach to autism, and explain the contradictions and difficulties inherent in existing attitudes. They examine and dispute the scientific validity of diagnosis and 'treatment', asking whether autism actually exists at the biological level, and question the value of diagnosis in the lives of those labelled with autism. The book recognises that there are no easy answers but encourages engagement with these essential questions, and looks towards service provision and practice that moves beyond a reliance on all-encompassing labels. This unique contribution to the growing field of critical autism studies brings together authors from clinical psychiatry, clinical and community psychology, social sciences, disability studies, education and cultural studies, as well as those with personal experiences of autism. It is essential and challenging reading for anyone with a personal, professional or academic interest in 'autism'.
Today millions of kids are stuck in a world that doesn't respect, support, or embrace who they really are—these are what Deborah Reber is calling the “differently wired” kids, the one in five children with ADHD, dyslexia, Asperger’s, giftedness, anxiety, sensory processing disorder, and other neurodifferences. Their challenges are many. But for the parents who love them, the challenges are just as hard—struggling to find the right school, the right therapist, the right parenting group while feeling isolated and harboring endless internal doubts about what’s normal, what’s not, and how to handle it all. But now there’s hope. Written by Deborah Reber, a bestselling author and mother in the midst of an eye-opening journey with her son who is twice exceptional (he has ADHD, Asperger’s, and is highly gifted), Differently Wired is a how-to, a manifesto, a book of wise advice, and the best kind of been-there, done-that companion. On the one hand it’s a book of saying NO, and how it’s time to say no to trying to fit your round-peg kid into society’s square holes, no to educational and social systems that don’t respect your child, no to the anxiety and fear that keep parents stuck. And then it’s a book of YES. By offering 18 paradigm shifts—what she calls “tilts”— Reber shows how to change everything. How to “Get Out of Isolation and Connect.” “Stop Fighting Who Your Child Is and Lean In.” “Let Go of What Others Think.” “Create a World Where Your Child Can Feel Secure.” “Find Your People (and Ditch the Rest).” “Help Your Kids Embrace Self-Discovery.” And through these alternative ways of being, discover how to stay open, pay attention, and become an exceptional parent to your exceptional child.
Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking is a collection of essays written by and for Autistic people. Spanning from the dawn of the Neurodiversity movement to the blog posts of today, Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking catalogues the experiences and ethos of the Autistic community and preserves both diverse personal experiences and the community's foundational documents together side by side.
Listening to the insights and experiences shared by autistic bloggers has helped Michelle Sutton to help her two autistic children to thrive. Now, Michelle has collected writings from a dozen autistic authors. The result is an extraordinary resource for families with autistic children, and also for educators, therapists, and other professionals.
In "The Gift of Neurodiversity", Armstrong argues that we have been too quick to pathologise brain differences. Indeed, in recent years, we have re-classified these differences, labeling many of them "disorders." What science actually suggests is that the

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