Steve Silberman is a writer and contributing editor for Wired, and the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (which will be out in paperback on the 23rd). He gave a TED Talk on the forgotten history of autism, and recently spoke before the United Nations on the need for acceptance and understanding of neurodiversity. In the must-read interview below, he explores what teachers need to know about autism and neurodiversity. “If you understand that the autistic students in your class are just as complex and nuanced and intensely emotional and hopeful as you are,” says Silberman, “you’ll do everything in your power to help them lead happier and more engaged lives.”
The history of autism makes clear that the notion that there is one best way to learn, one best way to experience the world, and one best way to be human, is bunk.