This New York Times–bestselling book upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think another way.
What is autism? A lifelong disability, or a naturally occurring form of cognitive difference akin to certain forms of genius? In fact, it is all of this stuff and more—and the way forward for our society depends on our understanding it. Wired reporter Steve Silberman unearths the name of the game history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the the most important question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in contemporary years. Going back to the earliest days of autism research, Silberman offers a gripping narrative of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger, the research pioneers who defined the scope of autism in profoundly different ways; he then goes on to explore the game-changing concept of neurodiversity. NeuroTribes considers the concept neurological differences such as autism, dyslexia, and ADHD don’t seem to be errors of nature or products of the toxic modern world, but the results of natural variations in the human genome. This groundbreaking book will reshape our understanding of the history, meaning, function, and implications of neurodiversity in our world.