Tuesday December 08, 2015
Rethinking autism through the prism of neurodiversity
Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal', must necessarily be 'inferior.' - Dr. Hans Asperger (1938)
As a longtime journalist with Wired magazine, Steve Silberman was used to spotting trends in California's Silicon Valley... but perhaps none as important as this one:
Twelve years ago he kept noticing that there were clusters of children with autism in Silicon Valley communities where software engineers and I.T. employees lived and that began a decade-long quest to understand the nature and origin of autism.
"Great minds don't always think alike." - Steve Silberman on neurodiversity and approaching autism differently
Now he's published a book of his findings. It's titled "NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity." In it, Steve Silberman argues that autism should be viewed not as an epidemic, but as a different way of thinking. He joined Anna Maria from San Francisco.
This segment was produced by The Current's Erin Pettit.
Webchat with Margaret Spoelstra from Autism Ontario
After talking to Steve Silberman on looking at new ways to approach autism, we thought this would make for a great live discussion. We hosted a live webchat with Margaret Spoelstra, the Executive Director of Autism Ontario to look at approaching autism different. She's a special education teacher by training, and has spent the past 35 years working with individuals with a variety of special needs, especially autism.