Context plays a critical role in the way the human brain processes information.
This is especially true in the area of social information. Whenever we are in a situation, we take into consideration the who, what, where, when, and why of the many variables that surround us to determine what to say or do.
Despite years of study and advanced technologies, we still do not fully understand how the "typical" brain works, much less how an autistic brain works. And while we have become increasingly familiar with the term autistic thinking, people with autism are still misunderstood, leading to frustration, depression and missed opportunities to reach one's potential. According to Peter Vermeulen, treatment of autism is still too focused on behavior and minimally focused on observation or determining the way of thinking that leads to the behavior.
Inspired by the ideas of Uta Frith, Vermeulen, an internationally known psychologist and a pioneer in theory of mind as it relates to autism, explains in everyday terms how the autistic brain functions with a particular emphasis on the apparent lack of sensitivity to and awareness of the context in which things happen. Full of examples, often humorous, the book goes on to examine "context" as it relates to observation, social interactions, communication and knowledge. The book concludes with a major section on how to reduce context blindness in these various areas, vital for successful functioning.
"Peter Vermeulen brings a truly refreshing perspective to autism and thus sheds new light on our still blurry vision of this perennially fascinating condition. His wonderfully embracing concept of 'context blindness' provides a powerful explanation of the varied features of autism spectrum disorders." Uta Firth, developmental psychologist and professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Dept. of Psychology, University College, London
Dr. Vermeulen is a psychologist and co-director of the Centre for Concrete Communication, a training and education center specializing in autism spectrum disorders in Belgium. Dr. Vermeulen's insights regarding context blindness deliver fresh perspective on how individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) perceive and respond to their environment.
421 pages. 2012