"Discovering My Autism; Apologia Pro Vita Sua (With Apologies to Cardinal Newman)"  by Edgar Schneider

(published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Ltd., London)

"Very likely, the biggest problem with autism is that it is one of the most misunderstood disabilities anywhere, if not the most. As a result, it is often misdiagnosed. Even when correctly diagnosed, it is often for the wrong reasons. In either case, the results are therapies that vary from the inappropriate to the counterproductive.

It has been said, more than once, that the best sources on what autism is all about are autistic people themselves who are able to communicate, one way or another.

I have Asperger's Syndrome, the highest-functioning form of autism, and only found it out in the spring of 1995, as a result of reading an article in "The New Yorker" by Oliver Sacks.

Since then, at the urging of a priest friend (who had been a psychologist before that), I have written an explanatory autobiography about my discovery, how it has explained my whole life (which had been, before that, a mystery to me and everyone who knew me), and my thoughts on autism, the latter to show how ideas and things appear to the autistic mind.

In particular, I attribute my autism to brain damage caused by infectious diseases in early childhood.

Through the Internet (and via "snail-mail"), I had sent it, upon request and without charge, to parents of autistic children, professionals (including teachers and therapists), and to high functioning autistic people themselves as well as their significant others. Many to whom I have sent it have told me that it gave them new insights into autism.

There is bad news and good news about that.

The bad news is that I am no longer able to continue doing that.

The good news?

I have executed a contract to get it published commercially by a British publisher, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Ltd. This contract gives them sole distribution rights. (This happened when one of the previous recipients, without my knowledge, sent it to them. It was no small surprise.)

The title is:

Discovering My Autism Apologia Pro Vita Sua (With Apologies to Cardinal Newman)

It is now available, worldwide, and information on how to get it is available on request. The published version is about 50% longer than the one I gave away, but still contains the original material. The additional length is because there is that much additional material.

On the topic of books, one that I would recommend without any hesitation whatsoever, is "Through The Eyes of Aliens," by Jasmine Lee O'Neill. She is called a "savant" because she does not speak, but she writes beautifully.

To tell about myself: My graduate study was in physics and mathematics, but I have many other interests. Among these are music, art, literature, languages, history, philosophy, theology, politics, and economics. I am involved in these actively, as well as for entertainment. My "manual" hobbies include photography, gourmet cooking, leather crafting, and small-bore rifle target shooting. I am retired from IBM, where I was a mathematician and scientific computer programmer. In June of 1999, I married an autistic woman, Alexandra Kazan, with whom I started exchanging ideas via the lists. In addition, I have been a speaker at workshops and meetings.

So, as you can see, I have managed to adapt well in spite of being "disabled".

I have to say that I was much more comfortable offering it for free, because now I cannot avoid the appearance of shilling for it. While I no longer can give away my autobiography, I do welcome private correspondence from those who do or have subscribed to the lists, and any others concerned about autism.

The best way to do a search, either in a bookstore or on-line, is by International Standard Book Number (ISBN) which is 1-85302-724-3 in the case of my autobiography.

To get it on-line from, I suggest that you visit: Ooops Wrong Planet (Getting it through that site will help a very good HFA friend care for her autistic child).

To get it on-line from Borders, click here.

Thank you for your interest, and I hope that you, and others, will find it helpful.

Ed ("Edgar", if you must be formal)"

5: November 26, 2001