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A Field Guide to Earthlings: An Autistic/Asperger View of Neurotypical Behavior

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3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  78 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Autistic people often live in a state of anxiety and confusion about the social world, running into misunderstandings and other barriers. This book unlocks the inner workings of neurotypical behavior, which can be mysterious to autistics. Topics include the nuances of friendship, dating, small talk, interpersonal conflicts, image, learning styles, social communication, ...more
Kindle Edition, 241 pages
Published (first published 2010)
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Anthony
Nov 17, 2014 Anthony rated it it was ok
This books reverses the traditional take on ASD (Autism spectrum disorders). It is an attempt to explain the oftentimes bizarre behaviour of “Neurotypicals” (NTs) to people with asd, I’ll call them Aspies from now on. The main idea is that Aspies think in terms of ideas whereas NTs think in words/symbols. Each NT has a word map inside their head which link words to one another, a word spoken to an NT conjures up a whole set of associated words, for example wedding → {flowers, groom, priest, ...more
Anne Wingate
Aug 04, 2012 Anne Wingate rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autism
A Field Guide to Earthlings: An Autistic/Asperger View of Neurotypical Behavior
By Ian Ford
Published by Ian Ford Software Corporation ISBN9780615426198
Given to me by publisher through arrangement with ReviewtheBook

I am almost 69 years old, and I was not diagnosed as autistic until I was in my fifties. That diagnosis was the most liberating experience of my life; within two weeks I could no longer even remember things I had been kicking myself for since I was as young as four. Despite the neurotyp
...more
Heather
May 25, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autism-adhd
“A Field Guide to Earthlings: An Autistic/Asperger View of Neurotypical Behavior” by Ian Ford is basically what the title implies… a guide for people on the autism spectrum about non-autistic people, referred to as neurotypicals (NT), and why NTs behave the way they do.

First off, this book is written from the view point of someone on the autism spectrum for other people on the spectrum. I have not seen a book that was written like this before for people with autism/Aspergers and I think it is a
...more
William Herschel
Jan 03, 2012 William Herschel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, nonfiction, 2011, autism
I want to give this book positive feedback but I'm afraid I'd offend people in the process. I don't know how to describe my personal feelings for this book in a way that would be okay for everyone. I don't even know how relevant this book is to most people, despite the book being intended for a wide range of people. And because I cannot know what other people would think of my feelings to this, I'm not going to risk getting into them publicly.

So the book itself. The book is organized sensibly an
...more
Rachel Gardiner
Apr 03, 2013 Rachel Gardiner rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life! I started reading it to better understand my boyfriend and my best friend, both ASpie--but as I read I had an epiphany and recognized myself.

Each chapter clarifies differences between autistic and neurotypical thinking patterns and greatly aids self-aware analysis. I would have to say that I understand more about the way I think since reading this book than at any time prior. This would be true for neurotypicals as well as ASpies, since the book explains and compares
...more
Crab
Aug 11, 2016 Crab rated it really liked it
Another three star that is a really *strong* three. I really liked the way this book went from the basics of symbols through the symbolic web and then the various ways in which NTs interact with the symbolic web. I personally could have done without the play bit. I would maybe have liked more easy to follow dialogue in the play, at least, although perhaps the fact that I found it hard to follow was all part of the problem being described..! I found some of the dialogue a bit jarringly sexist, ...more
Jackie
Jan 21, 2016 Jackie rated it did not like it
I've been curious about this book for afew years, so had to read these reviews ...which have made me want to say afew things about 'NT blind spots' etc now / even though i haven't read the book yet...

RE people talking for hours 'without saying anything':

Convoluted and long-winded speech and text (especially that which contains specialist words) is hard for many NT's [as well as Aspies] to absorb, let alone learn from, so it's seen by some NT professors (etc) as an art form ~ those who can tolera
...more
Rebecca Hicks
Dec 06, 2013 Rebecca Hicks rated it liked it
I liked it and it did give some insights about Neurotypicals. (I discussed one of the insights with an NT who told me it was completely accurate). However, I sensed what felt like a faint vein of contempt towards Neurotypicals running through the book. I hoped that as the book progressed it would change into an attitude of respect, but instead the faint trace of contempt seemed to be growing stronger.
Us Aspies don't like it when someone such as Maxine Aston speaks of us with coldness and hopeles
...more
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“The NT brain learns to categorize and direct incoming signals. NT’s “catch” what comes at them; this deadens the impact. The act of deadening or filtering stimuli is called “symbolic filtering” (a term developed for this book). Symbolic filtering converts real world stimuli into an internal symbolic representation of the real world. When the external world is taken in as words, it is physically painless.” 1 likes
“How can NTs be so powerful? There are two reasons they can do this: One is that their desensitization allows them to balance their attention without being distracted by any one overwhelming stimulus. Second, they reduce the size of the incoming data through symbolic filtering, so they only process the symbols, not the whole. Like the cockpit who is checking the airspeed dial (not actually feeling the air), they only bring in the minute essentials.” 0 likes
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