NeuroTribes: A Reminder And Reflection of Our Humanity

M. Kelter theinvisiblestrings.com As an autistic, the impression I was left with after reading Steve Silberman’s book NeuroTribes was one of enormous relief. The book not only avoids the usual pitfalls of fear-mongering and stigmatizing language that surround the topic of autism, but actually explains the origins of those pitfalls — as it pieces together a comprehensive history of both the autism spectrum itself, and the various ways ‘autism’ has been defined over the decades. [Image: The cover of the book NeuroTribes, by Steve Silberman.] Knowing this reaction to NeuroTribes had a lot to do with my own diagnosis, I became curious as to how non-autistics feel about Silberman’s book. The result was conversations with two people who have different connections to autism: Michael McWatters, the father of an autistic son, and Deborah Budding, PhD, a clinical neuropsychologist. Michael McWatters M. Kelter: First off, just a general question: what did…

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Finding Not Even WrongLand

Jean Winegardner www.stimeyland.com Photo courtesy of the author I am always apprehensive about parent-teacher conferences. Nothing bad ever happens. Sam has never gotten anything but glowing reviews. Quinn is Quinn, which is wonderful and charming. And Jack? Well, I always hear that he is very smart, that he is “making sufficient progress to meet goal(s).” In fact, I never really hear anything that surprises me, but I still feel angst walking in to those meetings — at least to Jack’s. Today was different. I’ve noticed Jack struggling more and more this year. I’ve started to wonder if an inclusion classroom is the best setting for him. (That’s a whole other set of angsty feelings.) I’ve started to see his autism-specific deficits bumping up against the curriculum. But here’s the thing. Jack’s teacher sees this, recognizes it for what it is, and gave him the appropriate marks to reflect it. She…