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The Amazon Book Review
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I would take the previous review with more than a "grain of salt". It seems as though the reviewer has some strong emotions relating to the subject matter that bleed into the analysis of the book. This amazing work is up there with "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" by Oliver Sacks in terms of redefining the range of what makes us human. To be so suspicious of methods used to obtain Sellin's inner dialog and reflections seems questionable itself. Should we also question the memoir of Jean-Dominique Bauby because he had "locked in" syndrome? No, overcoming this great communication obstacle should be viewed as an immense achievement.
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The opening of this book really irritated me. The very statements that people on the autism/Asperger's (a/A) spectrum don't relate to others and that nothing registers are not only illogical, but are harmful fallacies. People with autism, which is a neurobiological condition have difficulty communicating and responding to stimuli based on the severity of the condition. Suggesting that nothing registers with people who have autism is a crock.
I also didn't like the way people with autism were compared to Rain Man. Seriously, I wish that 1988 movie had never been made because I am really sick of the savant stereotype being dumped on the autistic population! The term "Rain Man" has become a slur in many a/A circles for this very reason. The irony of it all is that savantism only affects less than 10% of people with autism! I also wish I had an umbrella with the Autism Puzzle design, with the logo "Rain Man Busters" to ward off these tired misstatements. Saying one knows about autism based on one fictitious character is tantamount to saying that one has been to Paris when they've only been to Charles De Gaulle Airport!
Tired, disproved myths about autism such as refusal to speak due to trauma and having no desire to communicate were rampant throughout this book. Bull manure! The desire to communicate is inherent in all people regardless of neurobiology and autism affects that part of people's lives. The irony of it all is that Dr. Asperger, the man who first described this form of autism in 1944 wrote many works IN GERMAN about it as well as its spectrum partner, autism. When Birger was born in 1973, the ironic claim that "little about autism was known in Germany" at the time is all the more reason to question the veracity of this book.Read more ›