Neurotribes (Book Review)

A review of a book that will surely come to be regarded as a landmark in the history of writing about Autism.


Another Christmas present, this time a copy of Steve Silberman’s “Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and how to Think Smarter About People who Think Differently”.


I was delighted to receive a copy of this book. I had heard good things about it, and I noted instantly the presence of a foreword by Oliver Sacks (if you have not yet read Uncle Tungsten I suggest you rectify the omission asap) which could not do other than improve the quality of what was on offer.

It is beautifully and clearly written, providing a detailed history of the development of Autism research and the understanding of Autism from the disastrous early theories of Kanner and Bettelheim which caused a vast amount of unnecessary suffering through to the present era.

Of course there are still many many problems with the way autistic people are treated. Here in the UK for example 75% of adults with an Autistic Spectrum Condition are unemployed and a good portion of the remaining 25% (including me) are in low paid and/ or part time jobs.

If you are interested in a warts-and-all history of Autism and Autism research this book is a must-read. Although as understandings change over time there will be additions to this book I do not foresee any need of subtractions.


Author: Thomas

I am branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk and #actuallyautistic (diagnosed 10 years ago at the comparatively advanced age of 31). I am a keen photographer, so that most of my own posts contain photos. I am a keen cricket fan and often write about that subject. I also focus a lot on politics and on nature.

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