No Country For Quirky Men: Sadly, the real world isn’t ready for autism

Steve Silberman’s 2015 book NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity made a splash by popularizing the notion that autism is not a disability but part of the natural diversity of human life, and sometimes even, a super ability. Temple Grandin, the autistic animal expert, related in her memoirs how she had struggled with social skills throughout her life, but then used her disabilities to create a unique career. 

In The Way I See It, Grandin speculates, “What would happen if the autism gene was eliminated from the gene pool?” There would be no science, no tools, no development, she believes. “You would have a bunch of people standing around in a cave, chatting and socializing and not getting anything done.” According to Grandin, autistic people may be bad at chit-chat, but they are very good at building things.

Read more at my newsletter, The Great Leap