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Photo by Wendi Andrews

An inconvenient child

My six-year-old son was suspended as a danger to others. His crime? A disability you could find in any classroom

Michael Graziano

Photo by Stephen Tamiesie/Gallery Stock

Autism from the inside

Too many depictions of autistic people rely on tired clichés. The neurotypical world needs to take note of our own voices

Katherine May

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) at home in Princeton, New Jersey, 1944. Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images

Cognition and intelligence
Cognitive celebrity

Albert Einstein was a genius, but he wasn’t the only one – why has his name come to mean something superhuman?

Matthew Francis

Luc gives Tonnin Smit a kiss at their home in Geel, Belgium. It is traditional in the town for families like the Smits to take in people who suffer from mental illness. Photo by Gary Porter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Public health
The Geel question

For centuries, a little Belgian town has treated the mentally ill. Why are its medieval methods so successful?

Mike Jay

Identical twins Johanna and Eva Gill at the 32nd annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio on 4 August 2012. Photo by Lisa Wiltse/Getty

The autism paradox

How an autism diagnosis became both a clinical label and an identity; a stigma to be challenged and a status to be embraced

Bonnie Evans

Photographer Bruce Hall’s son Jack from the series Immersed: Our Experience with Autism. Photo courtesy of Bruce Hall

Against neurodiversity

The movement has good intentions, but it favours the high-functioning and overlooks those who struggle with severe autism

Moheb Costandi

Adrienne (Woman with Bangs), by Amedeo Modigliani, 1917. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

Gender and identity
The non-binary brain

Misogynists are fascinated by the idea that human brains are biologically male or female. But they’ve got the science wrong

Emily Willingham

Photo by Dennis Stock/Magnum

Beauty and aesthetics
A circus of the senses

It makes letters colourised and numbers pulsate with cosmic time: a rare gift, or are we all on the synaesthetic spectrum?

Shruti Ravindran

Reclining Boy (1913) by Egon Schiele. Leopold Foundation, Vienna. Photo by Corbis


Atheists and homosexuals were called perverts once. Why do we still see perversion where no harm is done?

Jesse Bering

Photo by Jerome Sessini/Magnum Photos

Am I disabled?

With my pen hovering over a form, there is no easy answer: better to provoke stigma with support, or resist classification?

Joanne Limburg

Photo by Mike Carreiro/Gallery Stock

Cognition and intelligence
About a boy

Movies and memoirs give us a romantic view of living with a child with Asperger’s but the reality is very different

Kent Miller

Photo by Gallery Stock

Plastic people

Epigenetics has shown that there’s no such thing as a normal human body, so how did it get hijacked by the body police?

Julie Guthman & Becky Mansfield

Photo by John Lund/Gallery Stock


Some people have neurological quirks that give them extraordinary perceptual powers. What can we learn from them?

Michael Banissy

Rebecca Ruiz during a high school game in Carmichael, California, spring 1997. All photos courtesy of the author

Soccer broke my brain

I was 17 when concussion put me on the bench for good. Only now do we understand how sports injuries affect the mind

Rebecca Ruiz

Carlos Jasso/Reuters

The inheritance of crime

Eugenic ideas about criminal genes have been repudiated for decades, but a new biological approach to crime is emerging

Douglas Starr

Portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1766 by Allan Ramsey. National Gallery of Scotland. Photo by Wikimedia

Cognition and intelligence
Did Rousseau have ADHD?

Rousseau’s non-linear style of thought, restless spirit and chaotic mood swings also made him one of history’s greats

Richard W Orange

A touch of ­hysteria: ‘histrionic personality disorder is associated often positively with status and wealth’. Photo by Andrew Parsons/Reuters

An instant cure

The latest edition of the psychiatrists’ manual has decided that my personality disorder is not so bad after all

Adrian Furnham