November 08, 2006

November's Book: The Speed of Dark

I'm sure everyone out there knows someone with some degree of autism, and it's fascinating and incomprehensible. I just read in a magazine article the other night that "One in 166 children in the US are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder today, as compared to one in 10,000 in the 1980s." I wanted to understand more about it, and I came across this novel, "The Speed of Dark," by Elizabeth Moon.

Plot summary
Lou is a bioinformatics specialist, and high-functioning autistic, who has made a good life for himself. A new manager at the firm where he works puts pressure on the department where many autistic people work. Lou is pressured to undergo an experimental treatment that might "cure" his autism. Lou does not think he needs curing, but he risks losing his job and other accommodations the company has put in place for its autistic employees.