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October 8, 2019  

Grant - Bibliography

Here's the bibliography I used to assemble the last podcast (and the paper behind it). As a note: I probably won't be assembling formal bibliographies for future profiles, instead calling on a more limited set of new sources and the ones I've already included here. Please let me know if you have any questions about what I used.


Baird, G., Hilary Cass, and Vicky Slonims. "Diagnosis of Autism." British Medical Journal 327, no. 7413 (2003): 488-93. Accessed December 11, 2018. doi:10.1136/bmj.327.7413.488.


Boundy, Kathryn. "‘Are You Sure, Sweetheart, That You Want to Be Well?’”: An Exploration Of The Neurodiversity Movement." Radical Psychology Journal 7 (2008). Accessed December 11, 2018.


Chernow, Ron. Grant. New York: Penguin Press, 2017. Kindle.


Durocher, Jennifer S. "Assessment for the Purpose of Instructional Planning for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” OCALI. Accessed December 11, 2018.


Grandin, Temple. Thinking in Pictures. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014. Kindle.


Grant, Julia Dent. The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant (Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant). Edited by John Y. Simon. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1988. Kindle.


Grant, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant. Kindle ed. LeClue, 2007. Kindle.


Harrop, Clare, and Connie Kasari. "Learning When to Treat Repetitive Behaviors in Autism." Spectrum | Autism Research News. November 02, 2015. Accessed December 11, 2018.


Hayes, Jennie, Tamsin Ford, Hateem Rafeeque, and Ginny Russell. "Clinical Practice Guidelines for Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults and Children in the UK: A Narrative Review." BMC Psychiatry 18, no. 1 (2018). Accessed December 11, 2018. doi:10.1186/s12888-018-1800-1.


Muramoto, Osamu. "Retrospective Diagnosis of a Famous Historical Figure: Ontological, Epistemic, and Ethical Considerations." Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 9, no. 1 (October 13, 2016). Accessed December 11, 2018. doi:10.1186/1747-5341-9-10.


Murphy, Clodagh, C. Ellie Wilson, Dene M. Robertson, Christine Ecker, Eileen M. Daly, Neil Hammond, Anastasios Galanopoulos, Iulia Dud, Declan Murphy, and Grainne M. MacAlonan. "Autism Spectrum Disorder in Adults: Diagnosis, Management, and Health Services Development." Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment Volume 12 (2016): 1669-686. Accessed December 11, 2018. doi:10.2147/ndt.s65455.


Murray, Dinah, Mike Lesser, and Wendy Lawson. "Attention, Monotropism and the Diagnostic Criteria for Autism." Autism 9, no. 2 (2005): 139-56. doi:10.1177/1362361305051398.


"Position Statements." Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Accessed December 11, 2018.


Robison, John E. Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Aspergers. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2008. Kindle.


Shenk, Joshua W. Lincolns Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. Kindle.


York, George K., and David A. Steinberg. "Commentary. The Diseases of Alexander the Great." Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 13, no. 2 (2004): 153-56. February 02, 2010. Accessed December 11, 2018. doi:10.1080/0964704049052160.



October 1, 2019  

3: Grant

Ulysses S Grant - Civil War general, 2-term American president, and the subject of our first profile. Was he on the autism spectrum? Quite likely, and this episode explores why.

September 19, 2019  

Neurohistorical Analysis - A Practical Guide

I mentioned in the podcast that I’d put up a guide for using neurohistorical analysis in written form. Here it is! Please let me know if and where you need any clarification in any part of the process.

Before we begin, I want to make something clear: in the podcast, I emphasize academic rigor and precision – it was written to show off how I used the technique in an academic setting. But if you aren’t shooting that high, you don’t need to go so deep in your research that you wear yourself out. It’s all right to kind of skim everything and throw something interesting together; we are out to connect ourselves to our predecessors here, we don’t have to triple-check everything we do. Have fun doing this! Don’t go deeper into things if it all begins to stress you out.

Another note: a lot of the best sources are locked behind paywalls and physical barriers, or they’re just hard to find. I suggest using google scholar and searching for whatever conditions or diagnostics or whatever you want, then reading any given article’s abstract. If you want something that is hidden behind a paywall, I’ve been told you can email the authors and request a copy, and they’ll often provide it to you for free. If you need any help finding stuff, let me know and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

All right, the method itself.

  1. Underlying Principles (keep them in mind while going through the process)

    1. Neurohistorical analysis does not apply a diagnosis; it points out strong similarities between the experience of a historical figure and modern people with a given condition. (“They probably had”, not “they had”; less likely to trigger those likely to object. It’s a little safer (in multiple ways) for us and more respectable to them).
    2. Neurodiversity means any given condition reflects something independent from a given culture or time or place; neurohistorical analysis’s use is not restricted to present-day figures.
    3. Neurohistorical analysis is not a character judgment; its use isn’t an insult and it can’t be use to discredit someone.
  2. Medical Research
    1. Take as many notes as you are comfortable with at every step of the process.
    2. Gather relevant diagnostic information from papers and/or manuals.
      1. Look for clear diagnostic criteria.
      2. Get a broader view of how a condition manifests in a person’s personality.
    3. Find papers for/against retroactive diagnosis and prepare to counter arguments against those confusing it for neurohistorical analysis (more important when dealing with skeptics).
    4. Build preliminary list of criteria based on findings.
      1. Focus on things that can be identified through biographies or at a remove: interpersonal relationships, behavior, statements, etc.
      2. Keep list flexible and prepare for it to change in the future.
  3. Biographical Research
    1. Take as many notes as you are comfortable with at every step of the process.
    2. Consult primary sources; autobiographies, letters, interviews, etc.
      1. Go for friendly sources first, due to lower likelihood of conflating neurodiversity with bad behavior.
      2. Continue with more neutral sources for fleshing out initial findings, then unfriendly sources for perspective.
        1. Keep an eye out for bias.
      3. Consult secondary sources; biographies, history books, papers, etc.
        1. Look up names of sources before using their work to find out their reputation/trustworthiness.
        2. Look for analysis of sources of decisions and actions, not their consequences (we’re looking at how they thought, not what happened later).
        3. Keep an eye out for biases.
      4. Expand and connect findings with list of criteria.
        1. Mark behavior possibly connected with condition under criteria on list.
        2. Use search functions to find specific instances of anything you think is relevant.
        3. Adjust list as necessary; remove, combine, or add criteria depending on findings.
  4. Moderns Research
    1. Take as many notes as you are comfortable with at every step of the process.
    2. Consult work by modern people with condition; memoirs, essays, articles, etc.
      1. Keep in mind that the experience of every neurodiverse person is different; their experience will not be identical to that of subject.
      2. Search for experiential overlap; similar events, behaviors, decisions, etc.
      3. Use search function to find similar situations in lives of author and subject.
      4. Watch out for own biases.
    3. Finalize list of criteria.
      1. Cross-reference findings from modern sources with those taken from biographical sources.

        1. Shoot for entries in list that include information from all three steps of process.
      2. Adjust list to fit with findings (I’ve found consolidating similar entries can get me to that goal of all three).
      3. Construct final, definitive list of criteria.
        1. For non-academic papers, don’t worry too much about being completely rigorous; it’s much more important to produce something that’s convincing and that you can share than something completely certain that exhausts you.

          1. Also, keep in mind complete proof is impossible, don’t go overboard.
  5. Prepare Results for Audience
    1. There are too many things you can do with your findings for me to cover everything; you probably know your audience better than I do. Let me know if you have questions on organizing your findings, though.

This should be enough to get you started if you're interested; if you just want to listen to the podcast instead of working through this, feel free to ignore this. As always, if you need any clarifications, have any questions, or just have something to add, you can contact me at

September 19, 2019  

2: Theory

What is neurohistorical analysis? How does it work? How do we use it? In this episode, we explore it in-depth, going through the process piece by piece to better understand how we can find neurodiverse historical figures. By the end, a listener should have everything they need to use the process on their own.

This episode is accompanied by supplementary material: a step-by-step practical guide for listeners' use and a copy of the episode's script to serve as a more in-depth reference. You can find them at

September 1, 2019  

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