In and Out of Autism: Steve Silberman on Amy Harmon’s ‘Asperger Love’


From Autism, Inside and Out, Steve Silberman’s review of Amy Harmon’s Byliner hit “Asperger Love”:

Anyone who has spent time with autistic people can tell you that they’re intensely concerned with how other people are feeling, to the point of being overwhelmed. But they often can’t piece those feelings together from the usual clues of facial expression, tone of voice, and body language. At the same time, however, autistics are often adept at reading each other’s emotional states from signs that would be opaque to their typical peers. There are moments in Harmon’s book when Jack and Kirsten seem to be doing that for one another. (This experience is so common that autistics refer to a second sense called “autdar” — inspired by gaydar — that enables them to spot a fellow Aspie in a room full of chatty neurotypicals.) Calling autistics mindblind may turn out to be as apt as calling those who doesn’t speak English deaf.

You simply must read this review, as well as the fine smart Harmon story that it reviews. Silberman, who wrote “The Geek Syndrome,” a pivotal early Wired feature on Aspies in Silicon Valley, is in top form here. He has produced a gorgeous essay on where we’ve been with autism, and where we need to go. Stay tuned for his upcoming book on the subject, which, to judge by his recent essays, will be a shimmeringly smart work.


via Download The Universe (a site that reviews e-books at least vaguely about science, and to which I’m a sometime (unpaid) contributor)

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