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Laura Pease discusses 'Neurotribes' on the BBC

Steve Silberman's new book “NeuroTribes" argues in part that we should stop thinking of autism as a disorder and recognise the contribution made by people on the autistic spectrum. He and School Vice-principal Laura Pease were interviewed on the Radio 4 today programme this morning.

If you weren't awake at 6:50am and missed the discussion, for the next 29 days  you can find it here, beginning at 48m 08 seconds into the programme.

Laura says:

This is a really interesting book setting out the ‘history of autism’ from Silberman’s point of view. It talks about changing attitudes over time and reminds those of us who work in special education how vulnerable our children and young people are to theories and approaches which may not have a clear basis in research or good practice.

You won’t agree with everything in the book (I didn’t) and it isn’t a quick read but well worth dipping into and reading in full when you have the time.

The most thought provoking sections talk about autism not as a disability but a difference, pointing to the contributions which very talented people with autism have made to the world. (Though when challenged about this on air by John Humphries he denied saying that autism wasn’t a disability). In one sense this is very much in line with what we see every day as children and young people achieve good things and with the school’s SEN policy which says that all children and young people should be valued as they are and allowed to be themselves. In another sense it could be used to deny the need for services to those children who need them most.
You won’t agree with everything in the book (I didn’t) and it isn’t a quick read but well worth dipping into and reading in full when you have the time.

You can find out more about the book here.