Rhodes scholar on how autism makes his brain works differently

Published by: New York Post
Written by: Ryan Dawkins

One day in college, Jory Fleming was walking across campus with his service dog, Daisy, when a stranger approached and declared that he was being cruel to the animal.

The dog, the man insisted, was unhappy and shouldn’t be a slave to anyone.

Onlookers were horrified, worried that the insensitive remark had wounded Fleming. But the encounter only spawned a fleeting thought in his head: “Oh, that was a very rude thing to say.” Then he kept walking to class.

Fleming has autism, and his brain works differently, especially when it comes to emotions. While he recognizes emotions and certain environmental stimuli might create feelings within him, they affect him less than most people. For example, he might see a large spider but “struggle to think of a reason why fear would be appropriate.”

Fleming explains how his mind works in his new book “How to Be Human: An Autistic Man’s Guide to Life” (Simon & Schuster), out now.

“I thought it would be a cool goal to have a book make its way out into the world, not so people can learn about me individually, but so they can see an individual with autism and what that means in viewing the world,” Fleming, 26, told The Post. Click here to read the rest story.

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