Episode 3 – Steve Silberman on Neurodiversity; A First Look at Enthusiasms
We welcome bestselling science writer Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, to discuss building bridges of understanding between autistic and neurotypical people.
Afterwards, we discuss the significance and value of autistic enthusiasms, or special interests.
Continue the Discussion
1) Why does Steve Silberman (and Dave) see Neurotribes and Uniquely Human as “companion” volumes? If you have read these books, do you agree with this description?
2) Steve talks about how he came to know about autism by “hanging out” with autistic people. How did these experiences influence Steve’s motivation to write Neurotribes. What was he trying to accomplish as an author of Neurotribes? If you have had the opportunity to “hang out” with autistic people as a professional or family member, what have you learned that you could not have learned in other ways?
3) There are “two sides to the coin” of enthusiasms, one side offers many opportunities and possibilities, but the other may present challenges to service providers and family members. Discuss specifics about these two sides, and strategies you use to honor the individual’s enthusiasm but address also some of the issues concerns that may arise.
About the Speaker
Steve Silberman is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in Wired, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, the MIT Technology Review, Nature, Salon, Shambhala Sun, and many other publications. He is the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (Avery 2015), which Oliver Sacks called a “sweeping and penetrating history…presented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity.”
Steve loves music, especially jazz. As a science writer – and, indeed, as a person – he is focused on helping to build a more humane, respectful, and accessible world for people on the spectrum while trying to be a good ally in their fight for accommodations and civil rights.
About the Uniquely Human Podcast
Hosted by autism scholar and author of Uniquely Human, Dr. Barry Prizant, and autistic humorist and author Dave Finch (The Journal of Best Practices), Uniquely Human: The Podcast expands the conversation on autism and neurodiversity by amplifying the voices of autistic individuals and thought leaders in providing insightful, cutting-edge and practical information about the autistic experience.