In this clear and accessible introduction to autism, Alex Durig provides a host of ideas and examples that enable the reader to understand the phenomenon of autism, recognize different kinds of autistic perception and behaviour, and prepare for interaction with autistic people. To help `normal' people understand and lose their fear of autism, Durig discusses the notions of `slight' autism, being or becoming `autism-friendly', and the mental well-being of autistic people. The author explains how autistic perception `works' and how it yields autistic behaviours', to enable readers to see the world through the eyes of an autistic person, and thus change the way they perceive autism.
Alex Durig received a Ph.D. in the social psychology of perception from Indiana University in 1992, where he was awarded a National Institute of Mental Health post-doctoral fellowship and spent two years as a visiting professor. Alex then spent 5 years as a professor at California State University, San Marcos. His first book, Autism and the Crisis of Meaning, was published in 1996. He has published in numerous academic journals, and has co-authored an article in the Encyclopedia of Sociology. Alex speaks publicly to healthcare professionals, psychologists, sociologists, linguists, and families whose lives have been impacted by autism. Alex retired from full-time teaching in 1999, and now lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where he dedicates his time to research, writing, and public speaking.
Introduction. 1. Social thinking and computer thinking. 2. How social thinking and computer thinking work together. 3. Exploring the experience of autism. 4. How to begin communicating with autistic people. 5. How we are all autistic to one extent or another. 6. The practical side of understanding autism: tips for teaching and interacting with autistic people. Conclusion. References. Index.