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Book Review: "Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity"

by Devon Price




While researching Bliss Road, a memoir about growing up the allistic (non-Autistic) daughter of an undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder dad, I happened upon Devon Price’s book, Autism Unmasked.


Rarely do books provide the kind of lightning bolt insight this one provided for me.


Price is an Autistic professor and social psychologist highly attuned to LGBTQI+ community. His audience are Autistics, whom he encourages to embrace their authentic selves rather than spend so much time and energy conforming to societal norms.


Yet I highly recommend this book for everyone. Written in a clear, straightforward way, Price provides those closer to the mainstream with eye-opening statistics and concepts that can change how we treat everyone.


I learned, for example, that a huge segment of our population worldwide has some neurodiverse condition, whether Autism; ADHD; dyslexia or other learning disabilities; depression or other mental illnesses; or medical conditions like epilepsy and stroke.


I also learned many Autistics remain unaided for a variety of reasons, including the general belief Autism is restricted to white males rather than crossing racial, ethnic and gender lines. Females on the spectrum are woefully overlooked because they often mimic culturally-acceptable behavior better than men. Lastly, assessment can be prohibitively expensive for Autistics, who often have difficulty finding and maintaining employment.


The author even includes a chart of terminology that changed my perspective. Rather than thinking of myself as “normal,” for example, which implies Autistics are abnormal, I now use “neurotypical” or “allistic.”


What surprised me most, however, was how the book inspired me to be more tolerant of everyone. By exercising greater understanding of those around us, and advocating for more flexibility in society and the workplace in general, we’ll make room for everyone and benefit from a greater pool of talent and perspective.


A fascinating read!


You can connect with Dr. Price in Instagram (@drdevonprice) and his blog.


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For updates about Martha’s forthcoming books, new and giveaways, subscribe to her website: MarthaEngber.com.


Bliss Road, a memoir, June 2023


The Falcon, the Wolf and the Hummingbird, a historical novel, Sept. 19, 2023


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