The Politics of Autism

Oxford Univ. Sept. 2018. 344p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199360994. $29.95. PSYCH
OrangeReviewStarSiegel (Univ. of California, San Francisco, Autism Ctr. of Northern California) looks realistically at the American approach to autism and argues that something is wrong when 90 percent of adults with autism are underemployed. This guide, written as a reference for college and graduate students, tackles current controversies. Are there more people today living with the disorder? Why are more children being diagnosed? Siegel examines the issues relating to vaccinations and turns a critical eye on large pharmaceutical companies along with alternative treatments. According to the author, we are wasting time, money, and effort. Young people living with autism must be prepared for the future. Passionate about vocational education, Siegel argues that we do no favors in trying to teach students skills they cannot learn and that resources must be committed to families in need today and not as efforts to fund research and find cures in the future.
VERDICT While readers may not always agree with Siegel's conclusions, her questions raised are vital for autism professionals to address.
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