Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Posted by John Elder Robison at 11:06 PM
This winter I explored the possibility that some Polynesian
navigators may be/have been autistic. That has been a fascinating thing to study, and it raised another question that I'd like to discuss – does a western diagnostic label that we associate
with disability have relevance when applied to a gifted wayfinder in the South
Pacific? That question struck me as I
watched video of Mau Piailug, an indigenous navigator from the island of
Satawal who died in 2010.
John Elder Robison is an autistic adult and advocate for people with neurological differences. He's the author of Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, Raising Cubby, and Switched On. He serves on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Dept of Health and Human Services and many other autism-related boards. He's co-founder of the TCS Auto Program (A school for teens with developmental challenges) and he’s the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and a visiting professor of practice at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
Posted by John Elder Robison at 10:52 PM