See it Feelingly: Classic Novels, Autistic Readers, and the Schooling of a No-Good English Professor: A Review

Maxfield Sparrow unstrangemind.com [image: cover of the book See It Feelingly, by Ralph Savarese] See It Feelingly: Classic Novels, Autistic Readers, and the Schooling of a No-Good English Professor (Thought in the Act) by Ralph James Savarese Foreword by Stephen Kuusisto Duke University Press Books (October 12, 2018) Reading See it Feelingly took me much longer than I expected, because I wanted to stop to take notes with almost every page turn. Dr. Savarese has produced a masterpiece, simultaneously dense and accessible. His voice moves freely—alternating among lyrical, narrative, and instructive—never losing the flow, never dipping into pedantry, never soaring too far toward the abstract for the reader to follow. Not only is this collection of essays brimming with the most important information and ideas about autism, it is a collaboration of rare beauty. See it Feelingly crosses genres effortlessly. The result is a book rich in the neuroscience of autism,…

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Autism and Intense Interests: Why We Love What We Love and Why It Should Matter to You

Photo © Deanna | Flickr/Creative Commons [image: White child with short brown hair holding up a massive bunch of colorful Mardi Gras beads.] Maxfield Sparrow unstrangemind.com If you know an Autistic person or are Autistic yourself, you are familiar with the intense interests and consuming passions that we can get so engrossed by that we forget to eat, sleep, or even use the bathroom. While not every Autist has one or more deeply-lived interests*, the laser-focus with which we can approach preferred things is generally considered one of the hallmark traits of autism. An Australian research study from 2016  demonstrated the tremendous value of going directly to Autists, by asking us about this tendency in order to discern our motivations. The researchers wanted to answer the question: why are Autists drawn with such intensity to the things that catch their interest? To that end, they developed a 20-item, self-administered assessment…