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Paramount Pictures Wants to Turn Book About Autism, 'Neurotribes,' Into a Film


Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights to Steve Silberman’s 2015 book “NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.” The project has been set up with “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels and his company Broadway Video.

Silberman’s book discusses a broader model for accepting and understanding autism as well as goals for a more accessible and inclusive society. He follows the lives of several individuals with autism and their families’ journeys. Silberman also unfolds the history of autism, covering the story of Hans Asperger, the father of Asperger’s syndrome and Leo Kanner, who covertly tried to suppress knowledge of autism.

“NeuroTribes” won the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the most prestigious non-fiction award in the U.K. The book was also highly reviewed by critics such as The New York Times who called it an “ambitious, meticulous and largehearted history.”

Similar positive feedback followed Silberman’s Twitter announcement of “NeuroTribes” being optioned.

Correction: The Mighty removed a section of this article which featured criticism that Silberman’s book did not show a diverse representation of the autism spectrum. According to Silberman: 

[T]he entirety of chapter two, “The Boy Who Loves Green Straws,” is a nearly 40-page in-depth profile of a boy named Leo Rosa who very likely meets the blogger’s definition of “low functioning,” though I avoid the phrases “low functioning” and “high functioning” in the book as much as possible because I believe they’re both clinically inaccurate and terribly dehumanizing and stigmatizing. I also profile Leo’s wonderfully supportive parents, and in fact profile parents of profoundly affected children throughout the book. 

The Mighty reached out to Broadway Video and has yet to hear back.