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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERNearly seventy-five years ago, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi, became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family’s odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, and of the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it. Unfolding over decades, it is a beautifully rendered history of ordinary people determined to secure a place in the world for those with autism—by liberating children from dank institutions, campaigning for their right to go to school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different.
Melvin Juette has said that becoming paralyzed in a gang-related shooting was "both the worst and best thing that happened" to him. The incident, he believes, surely spared the then sixteen-year-old African American from prison and/or an early death. It transformed him in other ways, too. He attended college and made wheelchair basketball his passion – ultimately becoming a star athlete and playing on the U.S. National Wheelchair Basketball Team. In "Wheelchair Warrior", Juette re-constructs the defining moments of his life with the assistance of sociologist Ronald Berger.
These days, the idea of the cyborg is less the stuff of science fiction and more a reality, as we are all, in one way or another, constantly connected, extended, wired, and dispersed in and through technology. One wonders where the individual, the person, the human, and the body are—or, alternatively, where they stop. These are the kinds of questions Hélène Mialet explores in this fascinating volume, as she focuses on a man who is permanently attached to assemblages of machines, devices, and collectivities of people: Stephen Hawking.
In this empowering memoir, Ben Mattlin describes living a normal life. Why is that interesting? Because Mattlin was born with spinal muscular atrophy, a congenital weakness from which he was expected to die in childhood. Not only did this author get through childhood, he became one of the first students in a wheelchair to attend Harvard, from which he graduated and, over time, became a professional writer. His life so far has paralleled the growth of the disability rights movement, meaning that in some ways Mattlin did not feel that he was disadvantaged, merely different.
Connected at the chest by a band of flesh, Chang and Eng Bunker toured the United States and the world from the 1820s to the 1870s, placing themselves and their extraordinary bodies on exhibit as "freaks of nature" and "Oriental curiosities." More famously known as the Siamese twins, they eventually settled in rural North Carolina, married two white sisters, became slave owners, and fathered twenty-one children between them. Though the brothers constantly professed their normality, they occupied a strange space in nineteenth-century America.
Is there a gene for autism? Despite a billion-dollar, twenty-year effort to find out—and the more elusive the answer, the greater the search seems to become—no single autism gene has been identified. In Multiple Autisms, Jennifer S. Singh sets out to discover how autism emerged as a genetic disorder and how this affects those who study autism and those who live with it. This is the first sustained analysis of the practices, politics, and meaning of autism genetics from a scientific, cultural, and social perspective.
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