The Dawn of Autistic Space - Excerpt from NeuroTribes

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Jacoby
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09 Sep 2016, 11:47 am

For all the talk of there being a community, I've never experienced it or seen any evidence of one actually existing. An internet community does not equivalate to a real life one, I don't feel like it comparable to the real gay or deaf communities.



ASPartOfMe
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09 Sep 2016, 11:57 am

I wonder if there will be any future new community in the traditional sense.


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Jacoby
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09 Sep 2016, 12:40 pm

Seems doubtful to me considering autism is primarily a social impairment, it would be more akin to a community of bipolars or schizophrenics suddenly arising than the gay or deaf ones who do not have the same social impairment in my opinion. It doesn't seem like people on the spectrum agree or even like each other all that much, there is a shared experience but other than that I do not feel any solidarity. Islands unto ourselves.



Silverwhistle
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09 Sep 2016, 8:58 pm

Thanks, Steve – it's a great book!



CockneyRebel
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09 Sep 2016, 10:52 pm

Thank you, Steve. I look forward to reading your book. I hope your book will be getting most people to move in the right direction.


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Hyperborean
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11 Sep 2016, 3:32 pm

Jacoby wrote:
Seems doubtful to me considering autism is primarily a social impairment, it would be more akin to a community of bipolars or schizophrenics suddenly arising than the gay or deaf ones who do not have the same social impairment in my opinion. It doesn't seem like people on the spectrum agree or even like each other all that much, there is a shared experience but other than that I do not feel any solidarity. Islands unto ourselves.



The closest we seem to come to such a community is the neurodiversity movement itself, where autism has the loudest voice out of all the represented conditions. But as is well known on WP, the neurodiversity movement has more than its fair share of conflicting opinions and obnoxious people, and doesn't really function as a cohesive group. But maybe things will change. Younger people on the spectrum, who were diagnosed as children and have grown up with social media, are increasingly active in public debates, and are also more accustomed to interacting with those with other conditions as well as NTs. So they might be the ones to create an autistic community.


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'Once one has learnt to pay attention to the characteristic manifestations of autism, one realises that they are not at all rare'.
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12 Sep 2016, 10:52 am

I think most communities are made up of individuals with some conflicting beliefs. For instance, Wrong Planet has a community made up of a very diverse group of people who do share many similarities.


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Hyperborean
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12 Sep 2016, 11:50 am

alex wrote:
I think most communities are made up of individuals with some conflicting beliefs. For instance, Wrong Planet has a community made up of a very diverse group of people who do share many similarities.


Yes, I agree. But the differences of opinion within the neurodiversity movement are quite extreme and often destructive, which makes it difficult for it to act as a cohesive community IRL for people with autism and other conditions. But as I said, maybe young people with AS will change that.


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'All that we see is but a shadow and reflection of what is hidden from our eyes'
Vladimir Solovyëv

'Wo viel Licht ist, ist auch viel Schatten'.
Goethe

'Demain était déjà très loin'.
Julien Gracq
Un balcon en forêt

'Aș vrea să pot să locuiesc în propriile mele cuvinte ...'
Nichita Stănescu
O confesiune

'Once one has learnt to pay attention to the characteristic manifestations of autism, one realises that they are not at all rare'.
Hans Asperger


BornThisWay
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18 Sep 2016, 11:04 pm

Just finished reading through parts of Neurotribes for the first time through ( I had to skip some sections; they were simply too disturbing to digest) - I'll go back over and over to take in what I can handle at my own speed...

However, Thank you, Mr Silberman for addressing this topic and presenting it so cogently to the NT world. Your work helps those of us who are on the spectrum to stand a little taller in our own shoes...As a retired teacher aide and teacher in a private school that mainstreamed many children of differing abilities and 'types' - I find it pleasing that finally we are perhaps moving the discussion forward from the 20th century's emphasis on what a person can't do (the Disability) to a focus on strengthening each individual's inherent capacities so that we can all lead the most fulfilling lives possible.

All of us, NT and Neurodiverse alike are a part of the societies in which we live. We are all part of an interdependent web, no matter how loudly the drums of 'independent self sufficiency' are banged...



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19 Sep 2016, 2:36 am

I read Neurotribes. I absolutely hated it. Thank you all for making things worse.


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BarbaraJane
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20 Sep 2016, 2:36 pm

I just finished reading it. I concur with "Higgie"'s review of the book. The best combination of scientific and highly informative, without being in the least dry or boring! Excellent.



Peripatetic
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02 Oct 2016, 6:50 am

"transmit the request to the mothership to come take them home at last."

Exactly what I've been thinking since I was less than 16 years old :D



jcfay
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28 Nov 2016, 12:07 pm

The book is fantastic. It helped me look again at getting diagnosed, and I finally was. More importantly, it provides a powerful lens into how AS and ASD have been historically, and how they are currently viewed, as disorders, psychoses, etc. I'll be sending it to family, as well. Thanks Steve!



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05 Apr 2017, 12:49 pm

Hyperborean wrote:
Among all the accounts of autism, 'Neurotribes' is certainly the most lucid to date. Steve Silberman writes with a directness and honesty that is similar to Tony Atwood's; and, being gay, he has personal experience of discrimination, of what it is to be seen as 'Other'.

One of the most memorable parts of the book are the chapters on Hans Asperger and Leo Kanner. Asperger comes across as the most intuitive, empathetic and altruistic of the two, while Kanner seems to have taken a somewhat unsubtle, black-and-white approach, often fuelled by personal ambition. One can't help thinking that the lives of people with autism would have been greatly improved had Asperger's 'spectrum' theory been introduced earlier. History can be very cruel.

I think that history is filled with both nuance and irony . For instance , if in an alternate time line Dr. Asperger's institute hadn't been bombarded during World War II , or perhaps with such a prominent advocate as Dr. Hans Asperger in our corner , arguably if the Axis Powers had prevailed over the Allies the lives of those with autism might have been better . < http://www.asperger-syndrome.me.uk/history.html , http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shot ... nts-autism> Especially since Dr.Leo Kanner was himself a Jew . So had Nazi Germany carried out the "final solution" on an international scale , Kanner would've been taken out of the picture . However , on the flip-side so would both Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen , and the author of the book this thread is about , Steve Silberman , among others . So the effects of history unfolding is never so clearly black and white . And even its participants can not rightly be divided into categories of complete good and evil . Like the Allies bombed , in addition to Asperger's school , such cities as Dresden , and certain persons whom went along with serving within the confines of the National Socialist party controlled regime , such as Dr. Asperger , were not altogether evil either . For though he has not Captain Georg Von Trapp , Asperger wasn't Dr. Josef Mengele either . We all as persons must make choices in life , some of them difficult , under the circumstances we are given , such as whether or not to obey or defy orders we might be issued .



IgA
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25 Jul 2017, 7:28 pm

Until recently, didn't believe I wanted to or liked interacting with others. In the physical world, I'm often too slow to join conversations - the topics switched too frequently & I couldn't (didn't want to) keep up with so many different subjects. 1 subject at a time please. Joined YouTube 2 years ago to share my projects and learned that people come to me and comment on the video -- I like that. I have time to come up with a reply, or I don't have to reply at all. No one calls me rude for not answering them. The internet has been helpful keeping me out of isolation.