“Do Autistic People ‘get’ Jokes?” AND More On Best 5 Thursday Reads

Hello and welcome to another edition of Best 5 Reads. Lets begin!

1) Do autistic people ‘get’ jokes?

Originally dubbed “little professors” by Viennese paediatrician Hans Asperger, autistic people have often been thought to be a rather serious bunch.

So do autistic people even have a sense of humour?

A new BBC podcast, 1800 Seconds on Autism, aims to dispel that no-humour myth, among other assumptions – with razor-sharp wit running through it.

The first time you heard that random joke, “What’s brown and sticky?” did you get it immediately?

Robyn Steward and Jamie Knight, two autistic BBC presenters, throw the old gag around in the latest edition of their podcast.

2) Girls have ADHD too – here’s why we may be missing them

Asked what they know about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, many people will likely tell you that it mostly affects children, and mostly boys. However, recent research has shown that neither of these perceptions is entirely true.

There is a striking difference in the sex of children diagnosed with ADHD, with boys more likely to be diagnosed than girls (the ratios can be as high as 9:1 in some studies). However, these studies are of children who have an established diagnosis of ADHD, and such estimates are affected by referral patterns (for example, parents may be more likely to take their sons in for an ADHD assessment), so they may not reflect the true sex ratio.

3) How to Be More Resilient

Some people are just genetically tougher. But you can train your brain to better handle stress.

4) What We Lose When We Lose Belief in God and the Supernatural

Did you believe in Santa Clause? Did you feel a loss of magic and wonder when at a certain age this enchanting belief was dispelled? While almost everyone copes just fine with this little loss of supernatural magic in their life, giving up on all supernatural belief leaves a much larger gaping hole.

Much has been written about why religion is natural to people and science is not. Belief in the supernatural and magical thinking are intuitive. Science, on the other hand, has to be learned. Science can be especially difficult sometimes, involving arduous critical thinking and requiring conscious over-riding of our many cognitive biases and intuitions. It is indisputable that science has delivered vast improvements to quality and quantity of life, and innumerable material comforts. But belief in the supernatural, for most people, provides emotional comfort and meaning.

5) Collective psychiatry

Chinese psychiatry remains committed to the political ideal of mental hygiene, long after its discrediting in the West

Thank you and see you tomorrow for more articles!

Best Regards,

Vikram


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