9.08.15: A Neurodiversity Primer & Miranda July

Sep 8, 2015

The CDC estimates that about 1 in 68 children have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. Today, the author of a new book on the science of autism gives us a primer on the neurodiversity movement. Then, Miranda July may be known for her quirky role in the 2005 film Me and You and Everyone We Know but the actress and artist has since written a debut novel which borrows heavily from her personal life. 

Listen to the full show. 

A Neurodiversity Primer

Steve Silberman has covered science and cultural affairs for Wired and other magazines for over twenty years. His new book is called Neurotribes: the Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. He spoke with us to explain what the neurodiversity movement is currently working towards. 


When he was just five years old, Joshua Littman was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, now classified as an autism Spectrum Disorder. His mother, Sarah Littman, is a journalist and author of several children’s books. In 2006 Sarah took her son to New York City for a special trip. On the way to Grand Central Station, she gave Joshua a notebook so he could write down ten questions to ask her when they got to Storycorps.

You can listen to this story again at Storycorps.org

In 2011 Sarah and Joshua went back to Storycorps so she could interview Joshua about his first year at college. You can listen to their second interview at Storycorps.org

Miranda July

Miranda July is an artist, a writer, a filmmaker, and whatever else she decides she wants to be. Her novel, coming out in paperback next week,  is called The First Bad Man

Broken Window

 You’ve probably heard of broken window theory – the idea that widespread vandalism and urban decay creates an atmosphere of lawlessness, and spurs more crime.  One thing that theory may overlook is the strange, often personal stories, behind each shattered pane, or spray-painted subway car. Roman Mars is host of the podcast 99% Invisible and he brought us the story. 

Listen to this story again at PRX.org