Send in the Idiots (2006) by Kamran Nazeer is a book that looks at a number of adults that attended the same school for autistic children in New York City. Nazeer is one of them.
The book looks at Andre, who has become a successful programmer, Randall, a bike courier, Craig a speech writer and Elizabeth who killed herself in her mid twenties.
Autism and the autistic spectrum are fascinating subjects. Their recent increase in prevalence or perhaps increase in diagnosis is very curious. Nazeer’s account of being in the school and looking at his own behaviour and how he has changed is startling.
The book is well written and touching. Nazeer, who studied law and has a PhD covers the subject with aplomb. He writes about how he learnt to cope and how his former classmates have done the same. The book isn’t a feel good story, the tale of Elizabeth is tragic. Andre and Randall are both encouraging and sad.
The book is a very thoughtful and quite fascinating. It’s well worth a read.