This ‘Sunday Times’ and ‘New York Times’ bestseller upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding and full participation in society for people who think differently.
What is autism: a devastating developmental condition, a lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In truth, it is all of these things and more – and the future of our society depends on our understanding it.
Following on from his groundbreaking article ‘The geek syndrome’, ‘Wired’ reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.
Going back to the earliest autism research and chronicling the brave and lonely journey of autistic people and their families through the decades, Silberman provides long-sought solutions to the autism puzzle while casting light on the growing movement of ‘neurodiversity’ and mapping out a path towards a more humane world for people with learning differences.
“‘Neurotribes’ is beautifully told, humanizing, important. It has earned its enthusiastic foreword from Oliver Sacks; it has found its place on the shelf next to ‘Far from the Tree’, Andrew Solomon’s landmark appreciation of neurological differences.”
“[This] book could serve as a manifesto about extending dignity and human rights for people with autism… It is for society to respond to his challenge.”
“Silberman is a skilled storyteller who uncovers the dark and complex history of autism through those who have shaped it: not just the researchers and scientists, but also the parents-turned-campaigners and autistic people themselves.”