Autism and “I”

Since I signed up today for the Strange Loop software developer conference here in St. Louis, it seemed fitting to repost this article, originally published on my autism blog nearly three years ago. – – — — —– ——– Earlier this summer [2007] I read Douglas Hofstadter’s new book, I Am a Strange Loop. As Hofstadter mentions […]

What’s in a label? Autism, Asperger’s, and the DSM V

Several years ago, I wrote a two part article on my thoughts about whether autism should remain in the DSM. Here’s what I came up with: For now, we need to keep autism in the DSM, because it serves as the way for autism parents to help their children get the services they need to […]

What organizations need isn’t always what they want

From Seth Godin’s recent article Why ask why? The secret to creativity is curiosity… The student with no curiosity… is no problem at all. Lumps are easily managed. Same thing is true for most of the people we hire. We’d like them to follow instructions, not ask questions, not question the status quo. This reminded […]

Don’t judge a new book by an old cover

Is Google making us stupid, as Nicholas Carr and others have told us? I don’t think so. Instead, it is making us differently intelligent. Carr, et al are simply judging this difference, the new type of intelligence, against the old standards. In his article The War On Flow, 2009: Why Studies About Multitasking Are Missing […]

A systems approach to food and nutrition – Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food”

Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. These seven words make up the entirety of the “eater’s manifesto” that is the subtitle of Michael Pollan‘s book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Of course, if the “doing” were as easy as the “saying”, Pollan wouldn’t have needed 200+ pages to explain the three rules […]

Autism and the tragedy of the commons

Last summer, I put Cooperation and the tragedy of the commons, from the Anecdote blog,  in my “to blog” pile.  It seemed relevant, but I just couldn’t quite figure out how.  In his post about an Alliance for Autism, Mike Stanton raises the problem of reconciling the individual wishes and desires of parents and adults […]

What if they had been diagnosed autistic?

If Fischer were indeed autistic, how would his life – and the history of chess, among other things – have been different if he had been diagnosed when he was young? If he had been provided the treatment and services that are typically demanded today for Asperger’s diagnoses, would he have had the impact he did? Would he have been able to have that impact, or would that ability have been “treated” out of him?

Maybe we’re all autistic (redux)

While writing my most recent post, I found myself back 2 1/2 years to something I wrote on the subject of the genetic nature autism. The following quote from the article I was discussing is quite likely the source of my opinion, expressed in The genetic basis of … everything (Or: Maybe we are all autistic), that the “autism spectrum” isn’t restricted to those with an autism diagnosis (emphasis is mine):

Genetic engineering and autism

As far as I know, all of the arguments about the increase in autism diagnoses being too rapid to be purely genetic are based on an assumption of randomness in the process. From that perspective I must admit that it seems unlikely that you could explain the increase in autism diagnoses purely to genetics.

But is this really a random process?

The genetic basis of … everything (or, Maybe we’re all autistic)

Maybe it’s because I’ve been around autism for so long now, but I can’t understand why anyone would find it so surprising that a possible “cause” of autism is a complex interaction of genes. Several recent stories (such as those documented by Kristina Chew and Mike Stanton) have made this point as if it is […]