How To Understand Autism – The Easy Way

How to understand autism How to understand autism – the easy way
 Alex Durig, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
 ISBN 1843107910,


There are two people whom parents of autistic children dread meeting, writes Michael Fitzpatrick. One is the scientist who believes he has come up with a total theory of autism, but whose heretical genius is not widely recognised. The other is the therapist who claims he has a unique ability to communicate with autistic children and deal with their disturbed behaviour.

Social psychologist Alex Durig is both these people. His “new way of understanding autism” is simply a series of bland generalisations about “social thinking” and “computer thinking”, which culminates in the banal conclusion that “we are all autistic to one extent or another”. But if we are all autistic, then nobody is autistic.

Durig’s recipe for connecting with autistic children is: 1) stay calm, 2) reflect their behaviour, 3) reflect their perception. Such platitudes are of no practical value for parents trying to deal with obsessional routines, self-injury or aggression.

Durig writes that “anybody who tries to take advantage of the culture of autism by parading miracle cures or discoveries ought to be ashamed of themselves”.

I agree.

Michael Fitzpatrick is a GP, parent of an autistic child and author of MMR and Autism: What Parents Need to Know

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