I do like Gladwell’s overall body of work but in his latest New Yorker piece, I want to call him out for falling into the “correlation not causation” trap. At best it’s sloppy reporting; at worst, it’s another example of perpetuating misinformation that autistics are dangerous to society.
Yes, I am the father of a 7-year-old autistic boy, so I am biased. Or am I? Because of my perspective, I have met many, many other parents just like me — with children on the spectrum that have the classic symptoms of awkward socialization, inconsistent eye contact, limited verbal skills, and impulsive behaviors. But we parents also know our children are not robots, they are not sociopaths, they are not ticking time bombs.
The Gladwell piece is the biased one here not me. It paints one picture of autism, and if all the general public ever sees is this same color of paint, then shame on us all for turning our backs on those that need our help the most.