Tag Archives: Richard Panek

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Reading Update
The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin & Richard Panek. Very good nonfiction look at how thinking about autism has changed as our understanding of neurology and brain chemistry has increased. For me, the second part of the book (“Rethinking the Autistic Brain”) was far more interesting and useful than the neurology/brain chemistry first part. Just because people with autism think differently doesn’t mean that our thinking is wrong. It’s just different. And if researchers develop a “cure” for autism, what will be lost? There’s evidence suggesting that people such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo had high-functioning autism, as well as probably Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc. That doesn’t seem like “wrong” or “broken” thinking to me.

I’m glad that I’m old enough (47) that I made it through the education system as a “weird smart kid” instead of as someone with a disability, and that I learned I could take care of and support myself. All of it was through a pretty non-standard path, which I’m not sure would be an option today. My pattern-matching brain and ability to look at problems in a way that’s completely different from the way my coworkers do is valued by the company I’ve worked for for over 17 years.

Flashback to a few months ago, when there were leaves and green things… *sigh*

“SquirrelSquirrelSquirrelSquirrelSquirrelSquirrelSquirrelSquirrelSquirrelSquirrel!” -Chaos