The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships
This is an amazing book written from the perspective of two highly functioning people with different forms of autism. Dr. Temple Grandin is a visual thinker while her co-author, Sean Barron is an emotive thinker. Each explains some of the primary "assumed facts" about how the world works which are (at least theoretically) basic rules of social relationships that most people simply come born able to see, understand and do. Enter those with autism or different ranges on the autism spectrum... They see and hear the world in an entirely different manner from those referred to here as "neuro-typicals." Quite literally, we do not live in the same sensory universe. Consequently, much of the social interaction that occurs in the neuro-typical world makes little to no sense to a person on the spectrum, and the social reactions of a person on the spectrum may make little to no sense to their neuro-typical counterparts. Therefore, the authors set about to provide some basic understandings (rules, if you will) through which people who inhabit either mental space can function in a more understandable way to the other group. In the course of reading this book, it became crystal clear to me that EVERY person is somewhere on that autistic spectrum and that various aspects of our thinking may be at one end while other aspects of our interactive understanding are at the entirely opposite end (hence, for example, my own ability to pick up insecurity and fear in others but my complete inability to see/register indirect hostility emmanating from others). The book is marvelously written and amazingly insightful. It is also an amazing textbook for learning about empathy and learning to see the world from a perspective vastly different from one's own -- no matter who you are. I recommend it hightly.