Terrific Boston Globe op-ed on Autism

Today’s Globe features a column that is a wonderful explanation of the recent work of┬áDr. Laurent Mottron at the University of Montreal (which, thankfully, has gotten a lot of press in recent days; e.g. see this mention in Science Daily of November 2).

The Globe columnist, Gareth Cook, writes to tell us “The truth about autism” and he does so with kindness and a rare appreciation and understanding. This column is a breath of fresh air, and will be greatly appreciated by the neurodiversity movement.

His conclusion is “There is, of course, a strong ethical case for change. But there is also another way of thinking about it, which Americans, in particular, should understand: Tapping unusual minds provides a competitive advantage to companies – and to nations. Recognize the hidden strengths of our people, and we will all be the richer for it.”

But read the entire article; I found it quite compelling!

2 comments

    • Peter on November 7, 2011 at 9:31 AM
    • Reply

    Having just been diagnosed as being on the spectrum in the past few months at the age of 50, I found much of what you had to say extremely useful. Right now I am retro-fitting a diagnosis on some of the key points on my personal and professional timeline and am quite overwhelmed.

    I have worked on Wall Street for the past 25 years and have not balanced a checkbook once in that time period. For much of that time it wasn’t necessary, but in the current environment where bonuses are not necessarily higher than the previous year – or not necessarily paid – this is proving to be a liabililty.

    As a parent I have struggled to transition effectively to coincide with my kids growing into young adulthood, and as a spouse I have unfairly relied on my wife to do much of the (social, parental, organizational) heavy lifting. With this new awareness and the support of my family I am optimistic about the end result, yet am humbled by a process that is entirely new to me – and really don’t want to fail.

    I would very much appreciate knowing more about how you transitioned post diagnosis. My “tip off” came from reading the description of a portfolio manager in a recent book about the financial crisis; the diagnosis followed several months later.

    Peter

  1. See my response to this comment here.

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