“It is a beautifully written and thoughtfully crafted book, a historical tour of autism, richly populated with fascinating and engaging characters, and a rallying call to respect difference.”



An easy to read and informative piece of work, this book charts the history of the diagnosis and treatment of people with Autism and Aspergers syndrome. This in depth survey is remarkably easy to read and understand.

The author makes good use of real life case studies, including several well known characters from history to illustrate the vast spectrum of ways in which these conditions manifest themselves.

The book does not shy away from the relatively recent controversy regarding vaccination and its purported link to autism. This hot topic is handled in a clear eyed impartial fashion without sensationalism. At times the case studies and clinical examples are heartbreaking, descriptions of barbaric treatments that were used in the past to try to modify behaviour, and accounts of how parents were blamed for causing their children to be different are particularly upsetting, but are not exploited to manipulate the reader, rather they are used to illustrate the appalling up hill battle that faced these children and their families.

The book itself ends on a very positive note, by focusing on the various positive action groups, many run by autistic people , which seek to educate the general public, and advocate for better rights and opportunities for their members.

Overall I found the book to be well researched and written and a thought provoking and educational read.


Reviewed by:

Annette Jordan

Added 11th September 2019