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Autism as Context Blindness
by Peter Vermeulen
Why does the moon on the horizon look so big?
Why is a book sometimes a murder weapon?
The answer to these questions: because we are sensitive to context. Nothing in our observation has an absolute or fixed meaning. Tears on someone’s cheek, for example, could mean sorrow as well as happiness, relief or just an ordinary allergy.
In Flanders and the Netherlands alone there are over 100,000 people struggling with context. They hardly manage to use context in order to make sense out of what they see, hear, taste, smell and feel. These people suffer from context blindness. The world in all its multiple and ever changing meanings is very confusing to them. They think absolute in a relative world. Misunderstandings in communication and social conduct are the consequences.
In this book, Peter Vermeulen looks for the role of context in the processing of data by the human brain. As ever, in a very accessible way, Vermeulen summarizes all scientific research. Numerous examples illustrate how context blindness offers an explanation for the thinking and behaviour of people suffering from autism.