Book review: Roy Richard Grinker’s “Unstrange Minds”

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Recently I read the book Unstrange Minds:  Remapping the World of Autism by Roy Richard Grinker. Mr. Grinker has a daughter with autism. In this book he skillfully combines the story of his family’s journey through autism with comparisons of autism awareness, treatment and struggles of families in other countries around the world. I found the descriptions of how other cultures view and treat autism to be enlightening. It appears that even with the struggles we continue to have in the United States with funding, research, treatment models and access to interventions, we are much more fortunate than many of our peers in other cultures.

When I first learned of this book, I heard that the author denied that there is an autism epidemic. I was ready to read this book with a very critical eye. I was pleased to see that he is not denying that there is an unprecedented increase in the diagnosis of autism. He is discussing the history of the diagnosis and the evolution of our own country in the recognition and acceptance of this diagnosis. I found this book thought-provoking and would recommend it to those who enjoy learning of other families’ triumphs and struggles, and who are curious about how the rest of the world views autism.


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