Socially Curious and Curiously Social: A Social Thinking Guidebook for Teens & Young Adults with Asperger’s, ADHD, PDD-NOS, NVLD, or other Murky Undiagnosed Social Learning Issues
Garcia Winner and Crooke
Submitter: While this idea of learning social nuances sounds great in theory, just about every autistic adult will tell you that their attempts at conforming to these expectations will leave them physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Such advice as this could only work in the short-term when an autistic person is that desperate to fit in with their neurotypical peers. But will this advice guarantee them a happy life?
The author of this book rationalizes discrimination against autistic people in so many ways. As a neurotypical herself, Michelle Winner sees no harm in reminding autistics how their natural autistic tendencies will inherently make their peers feel uncomfortable. The only way that anyone would be comfortable around them, is for them to start having more “expected” behaviors and refrain from doing “unexpected” behaviors (p. 5) – which is just a euphemism for looking more “normal.” God forbid doing something to change the bigoted perceptions that many people have about autistic behaviors; after all, it is the autistic people who are broken members of society who need to be fixed with a little Social Thinking.
Furthermore, there is absolutely no information in this book regarding sensory issues or executive dysfunction, which are very real problems for people on the autism spectrum. These actually make it understandable for a man to have a meltdown while he wastes travel time for a cancelled meeting, yet the author has the nerve to call it an “overreaction” that he could easily control (p. 141). For someone who keeps emphasizing the importance of perspective-taking, Michelle Winner fails epically when it comes to putting herself in the shoes of the people she works with. Thus, a “professional” like her has no business telling autistic children or adults what is best for them.
Holly: Plus, it has an obnoxiously long subtitle!