Cover Image: Autism Is the Future

Autism Is the Future

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Member Reviews

This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Autism is the Future is a blend of personal narrative, sociological study, medical analysis, and journalistic investigation. The author talks of his own experience of cognitive difference, discussing a brain injury acquired in his adult life.  In many ways, this book reminds me of the work of Juno Roche.  They both use sociological methods, i.e. the interview, to further their own journey of self-discovery.  Roche’s work is an attempt to understand, and reconfigure, their sexual identity and Payne Thurman’s is an attempt to understand his new identity as someone living with a Neurological difference.  To do this, Payne Thurman undertakes a series of interviews that discuss some of the features of Autism, asking how these enrich or hinder the interviewees' lives. This book contains accounts of lives lived to the full and differences that both impede and empower.
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This is a really useful book. It has taken me a while to read it, as I’ve dipped in and out of it when I needed to. I’d recommend this to anyone with a child/partner who has ASD or someone who works with ASD children/adults.
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Ein neuer, interessanter Ansatz aber leider etwas trocken geschrieben.
Überzeugende Kontroverse über das Sein von Autismus und was es sonst noch "sein" könnte.
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I really wanted to like this. Ms. Thurman's rationale for writing the book is solid, but she keeps focusing on herself. Also, while I know this is essentially her thesis, it still reads like a thesis. There is excellent non-fiction out there that addresses this topic with ease while not giving up the rigor of research. I just kept coming back to it and slogging through a few pages and then putting it down and reading entire other books before I would come back and slog again. I feel the research is important, but the package was just not for me. Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC.
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I really enjoyed reading this book, I wish this book had been available 3 years ago when my son was diagnosed with autism, I feel like our family has been on a roller coaster ride ever since then, and we are just now starting to understand and settle into the extraordinary and wonderful life we have with our son. This book is a must read for any person with autism, a parent or loved one of a person with autism, educators... well just about anyone. It's very well written. 
We just do not realize how incredibly brave autistic people are. They can teach us so much and change our world for the better, if given the chance. 
Thank you Marlo Payne Thurman for writing this wonderful book.

Thank you netgalley and the publishers for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This was a fascinating look at autism and how the author believes it will continue to develop and be an important conversation topic for years to come.  I work with autistic students and am studying psychology and enjoyed this.
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As both a clinician who works with individuals identified as autistic and a parent of a teenage son on the spectrum, I'm always looking for new insights. Honestly, this is one of the best books about autism I've read recently. Throughout, the author challenges commonly held beliefs about how autism "works" and how we should "treat" it. This book ties together the neurodiversity paradigm with an actionable approach that allows us to move beyond acceptance of differences to actual support of individuals who struggle with a world that preferences non-autistic experiences. There were numerous "aha" moments where the author explained exactly what I've always noticed about my son and my clients, and she gave plenty of food for thought on how to apply this way of thinking to both my parenting and my clinical work. I'm recommending it to other professionals in the field as well as parents of autistic children.
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Having a child on the spectrum, I love to read new research and thoughts, beliefs, recommendations, and/or ideas.
I was in complete agreement with Thurman that without the "right" support and 'education" the "system (schools) may be failing children on the spectrum.  Attempting to "treat as "all" vs looking at the individual.
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There were many things I loved about this book - the quality of writing was very high, LOVED the quotes by participants in the study, and the wealth of information was substantial. Overall I felt this book was nearly on par with another one of my favorite nonfiction neurodiversity books, NeuroTribes (although the comparison is a bit like apples to oranges due to content style). Many of the sections had insightful points on memory, creativity, and intelligence that have broad application, and it was an easy read. I’d recommend Autism is the Future to anyone looking to learn more about ASD and the state of recent findings.
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Ms Marlo Payne Thurman, Phd began working with children diagnosed with ASD in 1986. Marlo holds board positions with the US Autim and Asperger’s Association. Marlo has been recognized for her work by People magazine, the Special Educator, ADDitude Magazine, The New York Times, and National Public Radio as well as numerous local venues. 
She completed a landmark study proposing an alternative sensory-cognitive difference theory based on het extensive discussions and interactions with diagnosed adults on the spectrum. This research was the foundation for this book. 
++ a copy of this book was offered in return for an honest, and unbiased review. 
++ Thank you so much ++

With very little few accounts about autism by those affected in literature, and with the majority of Marlo’s own opinions and thoughts about autism, she decided to explore life experiences of seventeen adults who had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This study took about eighteen months, with six months simply conducting interviews. 

She chose a research method that would allow her to understand detailed aspects concerning neurodiversity, as she wanted an insider’s perspective on cognitive difference and neurodiversity in autism. Volunteers were recruited from professional autism networks, social media pages, and from her own affiliation with the US Autism Association. On the seventeen individuals that volunteered, twelve were men and five were women, aging from twenty-one to sixty-three. Some where diagnosed as children, few (very) late in adulthood. 

Initially, they, or their parents, were told they would never graduate, go to college, live independently, have true friendships, would marry or would have kids some later in life. However, most did surprisingly well later in their (professional) life, and have risen to highly skilled jobs, where others were forced to accept entry-level positions levels on for health reasons, despite being highly qualified. 
Previous methods to understand those on the spectrum largely focussed on cognitive deficits, receptiveness or so called ‘splinter skills, and doctors or teachers are often at a loss what to do or how to help those with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

Through interviews, we learn that even in those with a spectrum disorder, differences are paramount. Some are hypo- where others are hyper-sensitive to sound, light, smell, light, touch. Some don’t hear sirens, or alarms, whereas others can be bothered by the smell of other people. There are other huge differences between ASD individuals Some are exceptionally good at languages, and cannot do math, others can only do math and are very dyslectic. Gifted in one are, hopeless in many others. Surprisingly, some ASD individuals even consider themselves stupid, whereas their IQs are on the genius scale, as they often don’t appear to be very intelligent. 

Since there seems to be such a different manifestation of cognition for ASD individuals, and standardized tests don’t work for them, maybe it's time we should ask ourselves what cognition really is? Marlo calls for a different approach on how to teach and help those with ASD and states that if you first learn ASD children how to cope with sensory input, their communication and overall performance will increase. 

A superb read, highly recommended, the book offers great insight in what it means to be on the spectrum. Marlo gives detailed information about the differences in processing, memory, and how we learn and look at the world, in comparison to the neurotypical way of processing information.

Having been officially diagnosed at age 45 myself, this book has offered me true insight of how and what it means to be on the spectrum. The various intervieuws with the volunteers are very interesting to read and a added bonus to this overall very interesting book! 
This book has been more helpfull than all those ‘therapies’ that forced me to ‘fit’ in and ‘act as everyone else’, for which I am forever greatly thankful to Ms Payne Thurman. 
And I agree with her: It’s arrogant to believe that every individual sees the world in the same way! 

***** 5 stars
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Thanks to Net Galley and Future Horizons for allowing me to read this unpublished book for a fair review.  Autism is The Future is an intense delve into the world and life experiences of 17 individuals on the autism spectrum.  It is the work of Marlo Thurman who developed an interest in autism after a brain injury she suffered, which gave her similar brain function as an autist.  The writing is interspersed with the writings of the 17 who were involved in the study and it will change the way you think and react to autism and those on the spectrum.  For anyone with autism or who has an interest in this fascinating study and the revelations contained in this book, this is a must read.  Well researched and written.  I have more questions than before,  it I come away realizing that autism is not abnormal, it is just a different way of processing.  And....perhaps the world would be.a better place if we all had a small amount of autism!
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Excellent! Through and thought provoking.
In Autism Is the Future, Marlo Thurman reveals how cognitive differences are the constructing pieces in understanding those with autism. Through her findings, she shows how those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) constantly challenge assumptions about intelligence and measuring intelligence. Thurman proposes that sensory and cognitive development have evolved together into a very different form of intelligence in those with ASD, and it should be viewed not as a disability but instead as a difference to be celebrated and followed.
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