#269: The Forgotten History of Autism  

In the past decade, autism has gotten more and more attention by the media and the wider culture. You probably know someone with autism or who has a child with autism. Yet despite the spotlight autism has gotten in recent years, several myths and misconceptions about it pervade the popular culture. Understanding the history of how the conception of autism we have today developed can go a long way in shedding light on these myths. My guest has written what is probably the most extensive history of the development of autism. His name is Steve Silberman and his book is "NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and The Future of Neurodiversity." Today on the show, Steve and I discuss the forgotten history of autism research, how the popular myths we have about autism got their start, theories as to why autism even exists, how parents should approach raising a child on the spectrum, and advice on how to connect with your autistic friends or colleagues.

LSE Literary Festival 2017 | Viewing Autism through the Arts Lens [Audio]  

Speaker(s): Ros Blackburn, Jem Lester, Emma Claire Sweeney | The scientific understanding of autism has developed significantly over the last few decades. But how realistically are autism and the experiences of autistic people and their families portrayed in the arts? Literature such as The Reason I Jump, plays like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, and movies such as The Accountant that reach the general public potentially increase the awareness of autism, but how far can arts and literature further revolutionise the way it is understood? Can they truly portray the reality of autism? This event aims to use examples from literature and art to explore the quality of portrayals of autism. Speakers will provide their personal reflections on these questions, followed by audience discussion. The panel is being finalised. Speakers currently include: Ros Blackburn is an adult with autism. At three months old she appeared withdrawn, isolated and very much in a world of her own. At eighteen months she was diagnosed very severely autistic but with average intellectual ability. Now at 48 Ros lectures nationally and internationally giving insight into her own experiences and the care and education practices she has observed. In spite of the severe limitations imposed by her condition, Ros displays great courage (and a strong sense of humour) in facing her fears and tackling life’s challenges. During the course of making the movie Snow Cake, a 2006 drama about the relationship between autistic Linda (Sigourney Weaver), and British tourist Alex, Sigourney Weaver researched the subject of autism and was coached by Ros. Jem Lester (@jemlester) was a journalist for nine years and saw the Berlin Wall fall in 1989 - and though there, he denies personal responsibility. He was also the last journalist to interview the legendary Fred Zinnemann, before the director died. He denies responsibility for that too. He taught English and Media studies at secondary schools for nine years. Jem has two children, one of whom is profoundly autistic, and for them he accepts total responsibility. His recent novel Shtum is a story about families, forgiveness and finding a light in the darkest days. Emma Claire Sweeney (@emmacsweeney) has won Arts Council, Royal Literary Fund and Escalator Awards, and has been shortlisted for several others, including the Asham, Wasafiri and Fish. She publishes arts features and pieces on disability for the likes of the Guardian, the Independent on Sunday, Mslexia and The Times, and co-runs – a website on female literary friendship. Emma currently teaches creative writing at New York University, and has previously worked for Cambridge, City University’s Novel Studio and the OU. She is a fellow of Art and Cultural Studies Laboratory in Armenia and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in the USA, and has also held writing residencies at Camden Carers, Eastside Educational Trust, Circle of Misse and Sunnyside Rural Trust – which resulted in the publication of The Memoir Garden: a collection of poems from the words and experiences of adults with learning disabilities. Her debut novel in 2016, Owl Song at Dawn, was inspired by her sister who has cerebral palsy and autism. Martin Knapp is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Personal Social Services Research Unit at LSE. He is also Director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research. The Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) (@PSSRU_LSE) is part of LSE Health and Social Care, which is located within the Department of Social Policy. LSE has established a reputation for depth, breadth and excellence in British social science, with a long history of policy impact.

When Opera Meets Autism  

Michelle Dunn and Larry Harris make an unlikely team.

Dunn is an autism researcher and Harris was an offensive lineman for the Houston Oilers – and is now an opera singer. They met at a church choir in New York.

Between sessions at the church they got to talking about Dunn’s work at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Autism and Communication Disorders. She works with patients who are bright and high-functioning, but often struggle to speak and communicate in an effective tone and cadence.

“They speak in a very disfluent way or their voice sounds really unusual and people shut them down right away,” she said.

Michelle Dunn and Larry Harris developed a new technique to help people with autism communicate. (Meghan Cunnane )

When Larry Harris heard about Dunn’s struggle with her patients’ speech, he was intrigued, and offered to help – using his opera training and his athlete’s background. Together they created lesson plans for the patients that incorporated training vocal cords and breath, which forces a person to stop and organize their thoughts.

“My brain just kicks into this place where I want to help them,” Harris said. “It’s exciting.”

Dunn had been working for many years with a patient named Devon* who was prone to repeating himself or fixating on a topic while speaking. But she and Harris started to focus on the new technique, and after just five months, they noticed great improvement in Devon’s speech. The quickest improvement Dunn had ever seen.

“I’ve been learning to take calming breaths and breathe pause,” Devon said. “I come across to people more normally.”

It’s been two years now since Dunn and Harris started their new technique, which they’ve chronicled in a guide called The Music of Speech. Autism manifests in people very differently, so Dunn and Harris’s approach may not work for everyone on the autism spectrum. But they’ve worked successfully with ten patients so far.

Dunn and Harris found a new way to work with people on the autism spectrum. (Meghan Cunnane )

Dunn says their work is not just about training people to speak a certain way to fit in, it’s about helping them feel comfortable enough to live their lives in society at large. So instead of getting shut down in the first conversation, Devon and others with autism can have a second, third or fourth conversation where they can maybe let go.

“It makes people care about me more, it makes people value what I have to say more,” Devon said.

*Devon’s name was changed to protect his privacy.

Steve Silberman: Evolving Attitudes Toward Autism  

It used to be that autism was considered to be the result of poor parenting, but starting in the 1930s, it was understood to be a hereditary condition, and the behaviors often associated with autism turn out to be present, to one degree or another, in most of us. Though attitudes about autism have changed over the decades, the stigma attached to it lingers on.

To discuss our evolving understanding of autism, Point of Inquiry welcomes award-winning science journalist Steve Silberman, author of the new book Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. Silberman uncovers the lost history of autism, and shows how we arrived at the concept of the autism spectrum. Steve argues that many of us have autistic traits, and that some of which, such as social awkwardness and highly focused passions, have actually helped to shape the world in which we live, especially the digital realm we all now depend upon.

Food & Autism  

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that around 1 in 68 American children are on the autism spectrum. This is a ten-fold increase in prevalence in the last 40 years. Autism spectrum disorders are estimated to affect more than two million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide.  Not only is the prevalence increasing in our country, but in many countries around the world. April 2 is World Autism Day and in the U.S., April is National Autism Awareness Month. In honor of World Autism Day and Autism Awareness Month, hosts Kara Carper and Kristen Gunderson talk about how nutrition can make a difference in improving the lives of those with an autism diagnosis.

Can Imaging Lead To Better Diagnoses for Autism?- Part 2 of an interview with Lisa Ackerman  

When you see a kid with autism, you’ve seen ONE kid with autism. Unfortunately, autism is not one thing, and you can’t treat every brain the same. Fortunately, there are ways to scan the brain to determine the type of autism your child has, so you can treat them using appropriate methods. In part two of a series with Lisa Ackerman, founder of TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), hosts Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen discuss the role SPECT imaging plays in autism treatment.

#78 Curing Autism? with Kerri Rivera  

Ocean water, full moons, and vortexes: oh my! These are a few of the things you'll hear about on this episode of Bulletproof Radio. Is autism curable? Most experts would agree: it's not. Though Kerri Rivera thinks otherwise and comes on the show to discuss her Chlorine Dioxide protocol and why she believes it has the power to heal the symptoms known as autism. It's a controversial method to say the least, but according to Kerri, 110 children have been cured using her CD Autism protocol. Please listen and enjoy! Director and Founder of Autismo2 - Hyperbaric Clinic, first and only Biomed-based Autism Clinic in Latin America, Kerri Rivera is the mother of two sons; 11-year old Patrick is in recovery from ASD. Responsible for translating the ARI ?s Biomedical Protocol to Spanish, she is a part of "Curando el Autismo" and "Fundacion Venciendo el Autismo" (Puerto Rico and Venezuela); Mexican liaison for AutismOne and ARI, Rescue Angel, bilingual mentor for TACA, and member of the Global Autism Alliance

#78 Curing Autism? with Kerri Rivera  

Ocean water, full moons, and vortexes: oh my! These are a few of the things you’ll hear about on this episode of Bulletproof Radio. Is autism curable? Most experts would agree: it’s not. Though Kerri Rivera thinks otherwise and comes on the show to discuss her Chlorine Dioxide protocol and why she believes it has the power to heal the symptoms known as autism. It’s a controversial method to say the least, but according to Kerri, 110 children have been cured using her CD Autism protocol. Please listen and enjoy!

Director and Founder of Autismo2 – Hyperbaric Clinic, first and only Biomed-based Autism Clinic in Latin America, Kerri Rivera is the mother of two sons; 11-year old Patrick is in recovery from ASD. Responsible for translating the ARI ́s Biomedical Protocol to Spanish, she is a part of “Curando el Autismo” and “Fundacion Venciendo el Autismo” (Puerto Rico and Venezuela); Mexican liaison for AutismOne and ARI, Rescue Angel, bilingual mentor for TACA, and member of the Global Autism Alliance

The Autism Community – Part 3 of an Interview with Lisa Ackerman  

When it comes to autism treatment, acceptance is not a strategy. Neither is guilt. A sense of community, however, can be a major asset for families with autism. In the last installment of this series with Lisa Ackerman, founder of TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen talk with Lisa about what may be the biggest resource of all for those treating autism: other people. TACA provides an abundance of helpful resources for these families, such as putting them in touch with a local chapter for help in facing their special challenges.

Maternal Instinct: Pamela Feliciano & Katharine Gammon  

In this week's episode, we present two stories of science and motherhood, just in time for Mother's Day. Part 1: Developmental biologist Pam Feliciano tries to understand her autistic son. Part 2: Science writer Katharine Gammon thinks she’s gone into labor, but her doctor says she hasn’t. As Scientific Director of, Pamela Feliciano leads the effort to build the largest autism research cohort in the United States, to speed up research and improve lives. SPARK aims to build a partnership between 50,000 individuals with autism and their families and autism researchers. Feliciano has also been a senior scientist at SFARI, the largest private funder of autism research in the United States, since 2013. At SFARI, she has been involved in  efforts to develop objective and reliable outcome measures for autism clinical trials. Previously, Feliciano was a senior editor at Nature Genetics, where she was responsible for managing the peer review process of research publications in all areas of genetics. While at Nature Genetics, Feliciano was engaged with the scientific community, attending conferences and giving talks and workshops on editorial decision-making at academic institutes worldwide. Katharine Gammon is an award-winning freelance science writer based in Santa Monica, California. She has written about a wide range of topics, from childhood memory to sexually-transmitted diseases in koalas to designing cities on Mars for publications like Wired, Popular Science, Newsweek and Scientific American. Katharine grew up in Seattle as the child of two scientists, attended Princeton University and received a master’s degree from MIT. She taught English in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria before discovering science writing. With two little boys under age 4, she has endless fodder for her blog Kinderlab about child development, and in her miniscule free time she rides horses and wants to spend more time under sail.

ep 029: Ann-Marie Lidmark – ADHD och autism utan mediciner  

Idag ska vi prata om ADH och Autism med Ann-Marie Lidmark som har gjort ett fantastiskt fint jobb när det kommer till att sammanfatta hur forskningsläget ser ut för alternativa behandlingsmetoder för de här diagnoserna. Ann-Marie har kollat på 1000-tals forskningsstudier när det kommer till vitamin- och mineralterapier och blev sedan väldigt intresserad av påverkan det kan ha på ADHD och Autism. Efter flera år av intensiv efterforskning ville hon dela med sig av all den informationen on samlat på sig under flera år. Så hon skrev en jättebra bok i ämnet för att sprida information till föräldrar och andra som har de här diagnoserna; Frisk utan mediciner: om ADHD och autism.

Ann-Marie har inte själv behandlat människor med ADHD och autism utan har gått igenom mycket av den forskning som finns och intervjuat många människor som blivit hjälpta utan läkemedel

Autism and Minds Wired for Science: ethical implications [Audio]  

Speaker(s): Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor John Dupré, Dr Bonnie Evans | Our panel will offer perspectives from neuroscience, history and philosophy on autism: How has our understanding of autism evolved? Why is autism so often linked with scientific and mathematical talent? Does this mean that some minds are ‘wired’ for science (and others not)? Is autism really a disorder, or just an aspect of human ‘neurodiversity’? Simon Baron-Cohen (@sbaroncohen) is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge. John Dupré is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Exeter. Bonnie Evans is Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London. Bhismadev Chakrabarti (@bhismadev) is Associate Professor of Neuroscience, University of Reading. The Forum for European Philosophy (@ForumPhilosophy) is an educational charity that organises a full and varied programme of philosophy and interdisciplinary events in the UK.

Autism on Sesame Street; an autism dictionary; and ‘good grief’, a peanuts movie!  

Sesame Street’s first character with autism - hello “Julia”;  Mentoring autism: Nick & Gabrielle and their dictionary for autism ; Good Grief - there’s a Peanuts Movie!

The forgotten history of autism | Steve Silberman  

Decades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of psychologists with an accepting view, an unexpected pop culture moment and a new clinical test. But to really understand, we have to go back further to an Austrian doctor by the name of Hans Asperger, who published a pioneering paper in 1944. Because it was buried in time, autism has been shrouded in misunderstanding ever since. (This talk was part of a TED2015 session curated by Pop-Up Magazine: or @popupmag on Twitter.)

Journal of Lifestyle Medicine: Patricia Lemer on Outsmarting Autism  

In 2008 Patricia Lemer published her first book on Autism, and she thought her work as an author was done. Over the next few years, however, science began proving the prevailing theories about the cause, treatment and prevention of Autism Spectrum disorders. Her new book Outsmarting Autism, now out on Kindle and due soon in print, brings together all that is know about this wide spectrum of developmental disorders in one 500 page compendium. In this interview, Lemer covers the five essential steps to treating autism, her career of four decades as founder of Developmental Delay Resources (DDR), and the upcoming "Conversation" about Vaccination set for Sept 12 at Phipps Conservatory. This topic, she says, is the most divisive and controversial issue in medicine today, and this is an opportunity to allow cooler, reasoned conversation around the topic. Also in this cast, a weekly update from Trenton Oczypok of Organically Social, who starts a pre-sale on the discount card this week, and from Joe Venare of Fittsburgh, who we caught up with at the Popup Wellness Fair in Market Square. Websites mentioned in this cast: Patricia Lemer Vacination Converstion Fittsburgh Popup Wellness Fair Jim Donovan Drum Event at Pgh Shambhala David Newman (Durga Das) Kirtan at Union Project Whirl Magazine Yogafest Seclairer Psychiatric Grand Rounds Pittsburgh School of Massage Massage CE at 7 Springs Organically Social Journal of Lifestyle Medicine Facebook page Integrative Medicine Professionals Meetup Group

Ep. 93: Autism Speaks Chief Science officer speaks  

This week Jill Esher travels to San Francisco to attend the International meeting for Autism research.  We have interviews of:

Dr. Tom Frazier, new chief science officer for Autism Speaks


Dr. David Amaral, research director at the UC Davis MIND Institute

Dr. Thomas Avino, UC Davis, discussing Autism BrainNet

I hope you enjoy this weeks special episode about the brain.



Positive Partnerships Podcast Series Episode 2  

Welcome to Episode 2 in the Positive Partnerships Podcast Series, where we bring you inspiring real stories from around Australia about life on the autism spectrum by those that know best. In this episode we meet Megan Warry, a wonderful mother from Darwin in the Northern Territory whose 9 year old son is on the autism spectrum. Be sure to visit for more resources and workshop locations to support school aged students on the autism spectrum. The Positive Partnerships initiative is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training through the Helping Children with Autism Package. The views expressed in these podcasts do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government or the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

Ep. 497, The Man With Two Left Feet, by P.G. Wodehouse  

When Henry Wallace Mills realizes that his inability to dance may cause his wife feelings of cloudy despondency, he decides to take the matter in hand. Or should we say, feet. P.G. Wodehouse, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

Today’s show is made possible by those of you who are Classic Tales Podcast Financial Supporters. If you enjoy The Classic Tales Podcast, please become a supporting member at This doesn’t just happen!

Season Four of The Classic Tales Podcast is now available at It contains 29 audiobooks, and is over 39 hours long. The range of titles in this collection is just incredible. So put it on your iPhone, and listen to it in your car on your way to work. Every story is a new surprise.

This 39-hour compilation is only $18.99, and it’s only available at

Now, I know that the definition of autism has been evolving since 1908 until what it is today, but I think that the hero of today’s story is on what is now considered the autism spectrum. My reasons for saying this? 1) His method of study is unorthodox, and requires an incredible amount of tenacity, even fixation. Most people couldn’t do this. This is what I term the autism super power. 2) His unwillingness to vary his study schedule of the Encyclopedia (He won’t skip a volume). 3) He imagines a fantasy scheme where his problems are all solved, and works diligently to accomplish this impossible task. 4) He is rather socially awkward, bless him.

This is no way official, and I can’t back it up with anything other than my own observations, but when I read this story, it struck me how my autistic son has many of these same character traits. He also demonstrates the autism super power, and is a truly amazing boy. I find it encouraging that P.G. Wodehouse saw how characters of this temperament could find happiness and love in a world that largely misunderstands them.

And now, The Man With Two Left Feet, by P.G. Wodehouse.

A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer, Sali Hughes, Autism, Power List  

Set in the oncology department of a hospital, a new musical that demystifies cancer is playing at the National Theatre. Writer and director Bryony Kimmings and producer Judith Dimant discuss turning such a difficult subject into a show. Eyeliner is the next item in our series looking at five beauty staples. Jenni speaks to beauty writer and author of Pretty Iconic, Sali Hughes and beauty blogger, Sam Chapman, otherwise known as one half of the sister duo, Pixiwoo, about why eyeliner is a beauty must-have. Nura Aabe is a British Somali woman whose son Zackie has autism. There's no word for autism in the Somali community. Nura's family wanted her to hide Zackie away and not talk about him. Despite that she went on to set up an organisation called Autism Independence and is now researching the condition as a PHD student at Bristol Uni. This year's Power List will celebrate seven women who've made the biggest impact on women's lives over the past seventy years. Judges will decide who's on the list but who should they be considering? Jude Kelly, artistic director of the South Bank Centre, Julia Raeside, TV critic for the Guardian, and literary critic Alex Clark look back over seven decades of the arts, popular culture, and writing. Who will they suggest and what has been their influence? Presenter: Jenni Murray.

361: 12 Futuristic Inventions That Could Save Your Life, The Best Way To Purify Your Water, How To Fight Food Cravings & More!  

October 26, 2016 Podcast: 361: 12 Futuristic Inventions That Could Save Your Life, The Best Way To Purify Your Water, How To Fight Food Cravings & More! NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar of events. Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page. ----------------------------------------------------- News Flashes: Better sex, anti-aging and the Fountain Of Youth…with…Rosemary? 12 futuristic products that might change your life: (what's cooler, the @Ouraring or a glamping toilet?). Glycerol got banned by WADA years ago for "hyperhydration"...but this legal, cheap trick works even better. (here are the sodium chloride tablets Ben mentions) This just in: ibuprofen kills your heart. You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on,,, and Google+. ----------------------------------------------------- Special Announcements: This podcast is brought to you by: - use code BEN for 10% discount! (check out the article with Dr. Chopra on why you should drink coffee here) - enter code FITNESS for 4 free samples with any order! - get 5% off all fitness gear and 10% off all supplements! -Clearlight is GIVING away a sauna to Ben Greenfield Fitness Fans. Click here to enter. -Going to the Tough Mudder in Vegas? Come hang out with Ben at this Meetup! Click here to register. -Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine! What did you miss this week? A clay mask, a park workout, a morning routine change-up, an epic post-race salad and more. NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar. Nov 17-18, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker's Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount. Nov 11-14, 2016: Ben is speaking at this year's Weston A. Price Wise Traditions on real food to enhance physical and mental performance. If you're an athlete, this is the talk for you! Click here to sign up. Dec 2-4, 2016: Unbeatable Mind Retreat. Don't miss this awesome opportunity to hang out with Navy Seals and Ben at the annual Unbeatable Mind Retreat in Carlsbad, California. Click here to register. Did you miss the weekend podcast episode with Peter Shankman? It was a must-listen – "Why ADD and ADHD Are Good For You, (And Supplements, Foods, And Lifestyles to Help With ADD and ADHD) ”. Click here to listen now or download for later! Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle. And of course, this week's top iTunes review - gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben - click here to leave your review for a chance to win some! ------------------------------------------ Listener Q&A: As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick. The Best Way To Purify Your Water Karissa says: Karissa has a question about your home water purification system - she wants to know what brand it is and what type you use? She loves the show and thank you so much for all the hard work you put into it! In my response, I recommend: -How To Detox Your Home article -Home water test kit -Public water supply reports from the EPA -State certified laboratories for drinking water from the EPA -Structured Water Filter: Hydro Energiser Whole House Structured Water Unit -Aquatru countertop filtration (you can get a $100 discount by using code "$100".) Natural Fixes For Adult ADD & Autism James says: He wants to know if you have ever heard about the brain balance centers? While they are mostly geared towards children, he's wondering if there's an application for this sort of training for adults? The center is based on the work of Dr. Robert Mololo and his book "Disconnected Kids - The Ground Breaking Brain Balance Program For Children With Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia And Other Neurological Disorders." -Book: Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia -Book: The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be -My podcast with Peter Shankman on why ADD may be good -Z-Health podcast How Diatomaceous Earth Works

Video player is in betaClose