Looking Autism in the Face: Two New Perspectives on the Spectrum
years. More: I want people to realize that autistics are a very diverse group. is book is
specically about the sorts of autistics who specialize in music, mathematics, science, and
language. ere are good reasons to think that these autistics have other traits, in addition to their
specialized skills, which are not shared with other autistics. I would hope to make it easier to find
and recognize such people, and so give them the support they need.
There are two very deep lessons here. One is for the “neurotypicals” of the world — the non-
autistics. It is that autistics are dierent — they have unusual emotions, and form very deep
friendships, and deserve understanding and sympathy. The other is for the autistics themselves:
That your friends probably won’t have the same feelings as you do, and you need to respect that,
and ask how to behave, so that the friendships can remain friendships. In the long run, this will
be better for both of you.
If you are wondering about the rather poor poems that precede each book, I can only advise you
to consider how Charles Dodgson dedicated his books....
In addition to the dedicatees, I owe many other thanks. Like many autistics, I’m a lone wolf, so I
didn’t get much research help, but I owe thanks to my parents, Dorothy and Frederick Waltz, for
reference materials (among other things). Paul Stamler is most responsible for getting me to
finish this thing. Ed Cray and David Engle also deserve credit for that. Don Nichols made
suggestions about Alice’s Evidence. Benji Flaming gave me another perspective on autism. Dr.
Barbara Luskin helped me make sense out of many strange aspects of autism. And then there are
the special friends from whom I learned so many lessons. Many of the lessons I learned were
painful. But maybe you can learn them from me and be spared the pain. In the order I met them:
Sally Amundson, Carol Anway, Barbara Edson, Mathea Erickson Bulander, Catie Jo Pidel,
Elizabeth Rosenberg, Patricia Rosenberg, and “Sarah Jane.”
May they live in a world in which all people nd their skills and gifts fully appreciated!
Robert B. Waltz