I just finished reading Neurotribes, and found it impressive, inspiring, and depressing. I should know better than to be depressed by it, because I already knew that the history of progress in understanding the mind is a black pit of shams, scams, and baseless theories. Psychology, as a whole, is the least scientific of the sciences, and it’s unfortunately true that most attempts to quantify it with legitimate standard scientific methods have been doomed to failure.
The human mind is not quantifiable, and it’s the insistence that it is, that has prevented the “experts” from granting any legitimacy to the reports of actual experiences of real people. Of course, autism isn’t the only topic that suffers from the blinkered view of science that devalues mere “anecdotal” evidence. Nevertheless, there are areas of enlightenment, and the light is slowly beginning to shine on autism. It will continue to be a fight, of course, but there is going to come a time when the last six or so decades will be seen as typical of any period when entirely new concepts are trying to make their way through the morass of ignorance and biases.