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Publisher's Summary

What is autism: a lifelong disability or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth it is both of these things and more - and the future of our society depends on our understanding it.
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 days of 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 mapping out a path for our society toward a more humane world in which people with learning differences and those who love them have access to the resources they need to live happier, healthier, more secure, and more meaningful lives.
Along the way he reveals the untold story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger's syndrome, whose "little professors" were targeted by the darkest social-engineering experiment in human history; exposes the covert campaign by child psychiatrist Leo Kanner to suppress knowledge of the autism spectrum for 50 years; and casts light on the growing movement of "neurodiversity" activists seeking respect, support, technological innovation, accommodations in the workplace and in education, and the right to self-determination for those with cognitive differences.
©2015 Steve Silberman (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gadget on 06-01-16

Good Contrast to "In a Different Key"

I listened to "In a Different Key" a few months ago and then I found out about this book.

In a Different Key looks at the history of Autism through parents and their children with Autism and follows the history of different theories and treatment options (with an in depth look at "refrigerator mothers" and the vaccine controversy) as well as looking at parent advocacy.

Neurotribes looks more at adults with Autism, touching on important psychologists in Autism's history but also looking at the accomplishments of people with Autism. The correlation between giftedness/intelligence and Autism is explored along with advocacy by people with Autism.

As a parent with two children with Autism and a certified teacher for special education, I found both books to be enlightening. "In a Different Key" helped me to see what parents had done before me to get services for their odd children while "Neurotribes" showed me hope for my children's futures.

So read/listen to both in order to get a more complete picture.

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24 of 24 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Lorijorn on 10-29-15

The long hard road to proper identity on the Autistic spectrum.

If you are a parent, family member, teacher, clinician, advocate, friend or neighbor of an Autistic person...please read this book. This is the true history of the struggles and horrors and wrong roads taken to bring us to accepting the Spectrum of Autism. The book has many heroes who persevered for dignity and truth for the 1000's or millions affected by Autism. The book also documents the misguided self-serving individuals that took us on the wrong paths which wasted precious lives and valuable time and caused unforgivable heartache and blame. As a mother of a 34 year old Autistic woman, I now see why, in her early years, a clear diagnosis was nearly impossible. The goal is acceptance of these individuals and recognition of the gifts they bring to their friends, families and to our world. I don't need my daughter to be cured...I just need her to be accepted.

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71 of 73 people found this review helpful

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