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Discovering My Autism: Anxiety, Aggression, Depression and ADHD ¿ A Biopsychological Model with Guidelines for Diagnostics and Treatment Paperback – January 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853027243
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853027246
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,789,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Edgar Schneider is a highly articulate former mathematician and computer programmer. He discovered his autism in middle age, after being misdiagnosed as schizophrenic for many years. Schneider's detailed and dispassionate account of his autism deserves a wide audience. He explains his life as an emotional loner, his need to intellectualise feelings such as love in order to experience them, and his use of his self-knowledge to help others in a way which will inform and enlighten those concerned with high-functioning autism and Asperger Syndrome. He describes the implications of his emotional deficit, comparing it to a missing faculty such as blindness. It is a moving and inspiring book. By the end, One understands a great deal more about Schneider's "country". --Laura Fransella, Times Educational Supplement, 23 April 1999

From the Author

I have Asperger's Syndrome, the highest-functioning form of autism, and found it out approximately four years ago, as a result of reading a magazine article. Following that, at the suggestion of a priest friend (who had been a psychologist before that), I wrote an explanatory autobiography about my discovery, how it has explained my whole life (which had been, before that, a mystery to me and everyone who knew me), and my thoughts on autism as well as other topics, which show how the world looks to the autistic mind. Through the Internet (and via "snail-mail"), I had sent it, upon request and without charge, to parents of autistic children, professionals (including teachers and therapists), and to high- functioning autistic people themselves as well as their significant others. Many to whom I have sent it have told me that it gave them new insights into autism. The story of how his book came to be published commercially is quite interesting. One recipient, in England, sent it to the publisher, who then e-mailed me offering to publish it.

Customer Reviews

Edgar makes me think and pause and yet think again.
Linda Newland
Edgar Schneider's writing very convingly illustrates the fallacy of the common misperconception that high functioning individuals lack the ability to think abstractly.
Lars E. Perner
I read the book at the suggestion of an autistic friend.
K. Shelly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lars E. Perner on December 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Edgar Schneider's writing very convingly illustrates the fallacy of the common misperconception that high functioning individuals lack the ability to think abstractly. Drawing from his immense reservoir of knowledge of the humanities and his professional field of mathematics, Schneider draws parallels that few scholars could hope to match.
One problem that I had as a reader was with the task of separating Schneider's own story and functioning from his generalizations and observations about autism across the larger affected population. For example, Schneider repeatedly explores his experience that he represents as largely devoid of emotion (although he does acknowledge a great deal of anxiety associated with uncertainty). Such an absence of affect is, however, far from a uniform characteristic among all autistic individuals. While most autistic individuals tend to be somewhat limited in their EXPRESSION of emotion, this is does not mean that--as appears to be the case with Schneider--it does not exist among a spectrum of others. Schneider does show a great deal of sympathy for Temple Grandin's idea that autism is reflected on a continuum. However, this point, although it is made abstractly, may not come through as strongly as one could have hoped.
Schneider's insight into the "neurotypical" world is impressive, and he makes some some sharp points--albeit occasionally with some repetition. His language and sense of humor are also quite refreshing--especially his wise-cracks. For someone who supposedly thinks of women largely in the intellectual sense, he does come across as having at least a slightly dirty mind when he reflects on the only activity in which the performers get to rate their own performance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on January 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best autobiographies in re the autism/Asperger's (a/A) spectrum I have ever read. Schneider, who is plainly a gifted man shatters the myth that people with autism are unable to think abstractly. A scholar in the humanities and in his own condition, Schneider draws upon a myriad of resources to support his findings. His background in mathematics and extensive knowledge and research of matters scientific is on a scholarly plane.

Still, Schneider is very inclusive in his writings. He compliments his readers' intelligence by sharing his knowledge; at no time does he deviate from plain speech.

Schneider discusses the paradoxical aspects of autism. One tired myth is that people with autism lack emotion. That is just not true. Autism is a sensori-neurobiological condition that affects sensory processing and communication to varying degrees. It is a chiefly sensory condition and for many people on the spectrum, emotions can be frightening and overwhelming. Many people compensate by displaying a "poker face" rather than give rise to the intensity of their own emotions and responses to stimuli. That is very common among the a/A population.

Show me a person on the a/A spectrum who doesn't hate surprises and having to cope with having things sprung on them and I'll show you a bulldog that flies. For many people with autism, surprises can be very threatening and not knowing what the desired response to same is can make for some tricky social navigation.

However, not all autistics have a limited display of emotion, just as not all autistics think in pictures. Broad generalizations can be very misleading, but I don't get the sense of that with this book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
I would recommend it to anyone looking for an inside view written from a fresh perspective. Not only does Ed give an inside view but I learned many, many helpful things besides. If you liked Temple Grandin's books you will love this one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Shelly on June 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
I found this book interesting on several levels. It illustrated autism in a way that I as a non-autistic person could relate to and feel. I read the book at the suggestion of an autistic friend. Since that time, I have met several families with high-functioning autistic children. It not only let me see them in a different light than I would have had I not read the book, but the book was appreciated and helpful to the parents, as well.
Schneider paints pictures with words and the range of feelings that I experienced while reading the book went from laughter to tears and back again. The book let me see that people with this diagnosis are not autistic people, but people with autism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donna Williams on May 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Edgar's book is written in small digestible chunks although this is more a book of essays than a flowing narrative. His essays, from a social philosophical stance are interesting, often punctuated with a wry if not cynical wit and his intelligence is clearly quite piercing. I most certainly agree with his comparison of people on the spectrum to cats and, myself, write of 'cat people' in our majority 'dog-person' world and its 'dog-person' social structures.

I'd have preferred, however, to read this as Edgar writing about his own perceptions and experiences without his presumption that his experiences and perceptions define all people's autism (referring to 'all autistics').

The autism field is an evolving field and authors on the spectrum don't need to all be psychologists (it'd be boring and one color if we all were) but do need to have extensive and broad experience of people across the entire spectrum when making generalisations. When they make these presumptions it can detract from the very interesting and valid points they have to make about their own system of functioning and perhaps the applicability this has to those in their particular but significant subgroup.

Having worked with around 600 people on the spectrum over 8 years in the capacity of a qualified teacher diagnosed with autism working as a consultant, I found that Edgar's experiences and perceptions held well for a percentage of those people but not any majority. In this respect his book will certainly inform anyone looking to understand children who fit the 'Mr Spock' mold in which they rely primarily on intellect not sensing and navigate their social world without emotion.

However, even given that stereotype, it can be misapplied to a range of people who actually don't fit it.
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Discovering My Autism: Anxiety, Aggression, Depression and ADHD ¿ A Biopsychological Model with Guidelines for Diagnostics and Treatment
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