Steve Silberman: NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
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In the recently published book Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, Steve Silberman traces the history of autism and its current status. He begins with case vignettes, or stories, that highlight the variety of characteristics of children, youth, and adults with autism and the experiences of their families. In fact, one of the interesting features of the book are the stories of historic individuals in the field—focusing on Kanner, Asperger, Rimland, Wing, Lovaas, and many others. For those of us working in the field, these are names associated with citations in journal articles or book chapters, and the human side of these individuals is rarely heard. Silberman’s writing does emulate the style of Oliver Sacks, who wrote the forward for the book. However, in his zeal to “set history right”, the author does display a decidedly negative Kanner-bias. Whether deserved or undeserved, it appears consistently throughout the book and is sometimes a distraction.