Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autismby Roy Richard Grinker
This global exploration of autism by a scientist--and father of an autistic child--is the first book to show that the "epidemic" holds surprising new promise for better diagnosis and treatment. Unstrange Minds documents Grinker's quest to find out why autism is so much more common today, and to uncover the implications of the increase. His search took him to Africa, India, and East Asia, to the National Institutes of Mental Health, and to the mountains of Appalachia. What he discovered is both surprising and controversial: There is no true increase in autism.
Grinker shows that the identification and treatment of autism depends on culture just as much as on science. As more and more cases of autism are documented, doctors are describing the disorder better, school systems are coding it better--and children are benefiting.
- Basic Books
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Meet the Author
Roy Richard Grinker is Professor of Anthropology and Director, George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research. He is the author of four other books, including the widely acclaimed In the Arms of Africa: The Life of Colin M. Turnbull. He lectures widely at universities and to parents and professionals involved in autism. He lives in Cabin John, Maryland.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book was written by a cultural anthropologist who is also the parent of a child on the autism spectrum. It is not a book that gives advice on how to get services. Instead, it explains the history of the cultural understanding of autism in particular and mental health in general, both in the United States and other countries. Mainly, Grinker's point is that there are not more instances of autism today than yesterday, but that differences in the way we diagnose and understand autism make it seem that way. In addition, he finds some satisfaction in what calling autism an 'epidemic' has led to: better understanding culturally of these kinds of people so more understanding for the individuals out there on the spectrum. I found his stories about parents of children with autism in South Korea, India, and South Africa enlightening. Showing the way that people from different cultures deal with autism and the education of children with autism really helped me to understand the way my culture sees it. I absolutely recommend this book to any parent of a child with autism or anybody interested in the history of mental health in general.
I am about 1/2 way through this book and really don't have any ambition to finish it. This author writes a lot about different psychoanalyists opinions 'eg.Bettelheim' and how children were diagnosed with autism and what caused it. Personally I really am not all that jazzed about how Bettelheim thought an uncaring mother was to blame for having an autistic child.