Thursday, November 25, 2010

my sister's book wins an award

Well I had a nice thanksgiving dinner with my parents, aunt, cousin, cousin-in-law and some other friends of mine and my parents and I can reflect on some positives in my life in that I am comfortable, not living in poverty, and still have supportive parents still alive. I hope all gadfly readers had a good thanksgiving.

A few regular readers of autism's gadfly may remember a post I wrote more than a year and a half ago plugging a book about complexity that my sister wrote and published. Well there is some more good news about Melanie's book. The phi beta kappa society has wisely decided to give her book an award. Our entire family is proud of Melanie.

Simon Baron Cohen and Temple Grandin (and perhaps Steve Silberman also) would have a field day about this autistic man's father, a pioneer in the field of computer engineering going back to the early 1950's and his sister, a Ph.D. computer scientist and artificial intelligence researcher. Maybe this proves how useful autism genes are to society, no matter that dad and sis got the good from the genes and I got the brunt of them.

However, it is my mother's family who has a history of mental illness and learning disabilities and autism, so it is possible the genes from that side of the family contributed to my disease (that's right, disease, Laurent and Ari).

Simon Baron-Cohen has speculated that the rise in autism may be partially because of assortive mating and the rise of the computer boon that engineers are more likely to meet and marry each other. I seem to remember I wrote a post about this on gadfly some time ago, but am having some trouble locating that post. If I do, I will go back in and edit this post.

The point was is that Baron-Cohen wanted to do a study of how many male engineers were meeting and marrying female engineers, given that at one time it was not possible for these nerdy engineers to meet and marry and reproduce, creating all of these autistic genes and people. I wondered how SBC could explain the fact that my father, an engineer, and most the engineers and computer people he worked with in the 1950's and 1960s, during the computer's nascence were all married and none of their wives were engineers. Obviously these nerds were able to meet women and get married and this might be a flaw in this theory, as well as in Steve Silberman's theories and forthcoming book where it is quite possible that he will touch upon these issues.

Well happy thanksgiving and kudos to my sister for winning that award.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your sister. Seriously cool, J.

There's a big difference between being a geek and being like me, where you're too scared to answer the door or most days, to go out.

There's a big difference between having awkward body language and my full blown steroetypies.

Silberman is doing us harm. Supporters of Silberman are doing us harm.

Autism as we know it is a disorder and a crippling one at that. What Silberman and his cronies are getting excited about is ND propaganda -- lies by the bucket load.

Bullet said...

Congratulations to your sister. It's the sort of book my dad would be interested in, so may well get him a copy for Christmas.

SM69 said...

Well done to your sister, great news! I have the book right here next to me... and I shall read it!

As a side note, I have just finished an excellent book which I would highly recommend, entitled:

Love, Sex & Long-Term Relationships, What people with Asperger Syndrome Really Really Want, by Sarah Hendricks (Jessica Kingsley Publishers).

The books does not fall into the trap of over-simplifying, being too negative or positive, and covers well the range of sexual preferences with regard to relationships, intimacy, sexuality etc in AS. I have found it quite enlightening really, and it gives examples of very successful relationships too without underestimating the difficulties some couples can experience

Regarding SBC assorting mating theory- personally I would love to see a study that looks at the genetic transmission of AS. When there is a genetic condition, myopathy for example, one does always looks at how it is transmitted across the family tree, mode of transmission, penetrance etc. I am not aware of any large-scale analysis of such, is anyone aware of it?

In my experience AS is shared by other family members, but regressive autism is not; it often comes, in the full presentation, very much out of the blue in the family- I think the conditions may look as if on the same spectrum, but I think we have something else going on.

Jake Crosby said...

Congratulations to your sister, Jonathan!

jonathan said...

thanks Jake

jonathan said...

thanks bullet