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Book Title

A Field Guide to Earthlings: An autistic/Asperger view of neurotypical behavior

Publisher's Description

Autistic people often live in a state of anxiety and confusion about the social world, running into misunderstandings and other barriers. This book unlocks the inner workings of neurotypical behavior, which can be mysterious to autistics. Topics include the nuances of friendship, dating, small talk, interpersonal conflicts, image, learning styles, social communication, common sense, and white lies.

Proceeding from root concepts of language and culture through 62 behavior patterns used by neurotypical people, the book reveals how they structure a mental map of the world in symbolic webs of beliefs, how those symbols are used to filter perception, how they build and display their identity, how they compete for power, and how they socialize and develop relationships.

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Discussion & Reviews

If you would like to comment on the book or read what others have said, please visit this blog post, which has been set up to allow comments. Other readers have said:

  • I experienced my first real, complete (intellectual) understanding of the social maze after reading this book. ... I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
  • Your language is like a fluid dancer, nimble with style, without weighing me down unnecessarily. I don't know a better way to express it so I'll give you a "WOW!" here. Your deft sense of humor also helps absorbs some of the harsher misunderstandings and mental gaps between NTs and Aspies, which I find to be such a soothing balm amidst moments of interpersonal hardship.
  • I sat on my bed, crying, mindlessly surfing through the internet. That is where I read the first 30 pages of your book. While reading those first pages I went from the deepest pit of despair I have been in [been in some pretty deep pits] to an understanding and resolve to make a difference for other autists.
  • My first introduction to Star's mind was through her book, A Field Guide to Earthlings. Reading this was a mind blow for me. It crystalized a lot of my own experience. Star has helped shape my thinking on many levels.
  • I found this book refreshing and helpful. All these years, I knew something else was going on, but couldn't put my finger on it. I have read and studied numerous pyschology theories, and nothing cleared my understanding. Having the process put into my own language has given me insights that will work in every setting.
  • ...suddenly lots of pieces fell into place and I could understand myself and others so much more.

About the Author

Star Ford (formerly Ian) facilitates a support group for autistic adults, and works for Divergent Labs, a non-profit dedicated to full autistic inclusion.