Chris Packham – Asperger’s and Me

For a gripping insight into what it might be like to have Asperger’s syndrome, watch Asperger’s and Me. Chris Packham is a familiar face from nature broadcasting on TV, where his encyclopaedic knowledge adds hugely to each programme’s value. That knowledge of natural history resulted from his boyhood enthusiasms, his escape from difficult human interactions, and his focus on factual reality. These things in turn are part of his Asperger’s.

Chris was not diagnosed until 40s, but already knew in his teens that he was ‘a little bit weird’. In his childhood his enthusiasms were total, taking over his … Read more...

The Boy with the Incredible Brain – Daniel Tammet

What is autism and so-called ‘autistic spectrum disorder’? It is a question that is difficult to ask of many people with autism because of their acute linguistic and communication difficulties. On the other hand, will we get a useful answer by asking atypical individuals with ‘high functioning autism’ like Daniel Tammet, John Elder Robison and Temple Grandin, who are not only independent but able to write books and communicate about their perspective? Are their views representative of this group in society?

Daniel Tammet is on many measures an exceptional individual. He is a savant with exceptional numerical and memory skills. … Read more...

John Elder Robison – Look Me In The Eye, My Life With Asperger’s

This entertaining read takes us through John Elder Robison’s American boyhood and first twenty years of adult life. It is varied and funny, with wonderful tales of boyhood pranks, disordered family life, and roadie adventures with rock bands. John Elder Robison’s belated realisation that he has Asperger’s syndrome gives the whole narrative an analytic flavour. Each event, mannerism, habit of reasoning, preference of sensory experience, aspect of his sense of humour, and even career decision, is explained and characterised in terms of the author’s adult diagnosis with Asperger’s. This is very useful for people who need to understand what Robison … Read more...