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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oliver on Autism.

I have always enjoyed Oliver Sacks's views on the human mind. So thought I would google to see what opinions he had on Autism. I found this. It will be unavailable after this month so thought I had better grab it. I'm not sure how old this is, but some of the langauage used makes me think it is reasonably dated. If you have a spare 50 minutes grab a cuppa and enjoy.


  1. I watched it, and it was "bizzare".

    You see, every time I heard that word, it kinda made me cringe...Interesting might have been a better word. Or fascinating. Bizzare holds such negative connotations, unless you "like" bizzare.

    (Ben's daddy and I used to have a running joke when the actor playing Jim on "Taxi" is told in character that he is bizzare.

    "Do you... "like"... bizzare?" he says, hoping for a way in. It was perfect.)

  2. Yes the language was a bit outdated, but I still got a sense from Sacks that he was in awe of the people he was trying to understand. There did seem to be a lot of compassion and a genuine attempt to understand from the Autists perspective. Ive also read The Deige, so it was interesting to see the people this book was about.

  3. What a wonderful presentation! I am so glad I set aside the time to watch that. He has a wonderful way of trying to understand and make sense of the autistic person and their world, whilst always referencing back to the thoughts and experiences of the people themselves. So much more interesting and insightful than many of the videos created these days about one attitude or another towards autism; he doesn't glamourize or distort what austism is, he just observes and attempts to understand its reality.

  4. It was a wonderful film. It was an extraordinary look into Jesse's thinking.

    Dr. Sacks is sensitive enough to attempt to understand, and NOT dismiss, Jesse. He has a great curiosity of diseases of the mind..."diseases" is also a poor choice of words. But if you've read "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" you might understand. Disease, damage (stroke), allow the bearer to observe an alternate reality than that which most of us take for granted. Sacks attempts to quantify it, understand possible reasonings. BUT AT LEAST he does not dismiss it.

    I think he is a very wise man. I'm sorry I made it sound as if I didn't appreciate him. But I have become sensitized to a few words...bizzare, weird, strange; derogatory terms that are used to describe our kids. They are not what they are on "purpose", but by design. They can't be anything else and be true to themselves.

  5. Languauge is a fluid construct. What is now considered OK will probably be replaced down the track in terms of disability. I agree r.b that what really comes through is his interest in genuinely understanding the Autist.