Unstrange Minds by Dr. Grinker Discussion of the book on why Autism diagnosis has increased over the recent years presented by tutor John Toker

Possible causes for the rise in ASD diagnoses

Research based standards for diagnosing people with ASD became the norm; this increased the rate of diagnosing conversely to the past individuals were wrongly ascribed with other diagnoses. Clinicians are more aware of ASD, and therefore are systematically looking to rule out early indications of it. Prior to extensive research substantiating ASD and the Internet to inform people of ASD, there was a tendency to misattribute symptoms of it. Many doctors would simply call it normal, while others would simply label them as mentally retarded.

Once people with ASD received early intervention in terms of socialization and other forms of education, there was marked improvement in the respective students’ interpersonal skills and cognitive capacity to learn in general; they far exceeded experts expectations. Consequently, there was proof that ASD was often the proper diagnosis for many who had earlier been deemed to have unrelated issues (Grinker, 2008).

Opinion related to the increased prevalence of ASD

Early diagnosis of those with ASD allows them to cognitively develop to a degree that often exceeds mental retardation; some are able to illustrate superiority to the general population. Such finding evoke support by the general public to increase awareness and funding to help people with ASD. Consequently, parents are more likely to be educated about the diagnosis and doctors anticipate that they will be expected to rule out whether ASD is the case; such influence raises the likelihood that it will be the diagnosis in any given pediatric evaluation (Boutot, & Myles 2011).

How the rise in diagnoses will impact teachers and schools

Public school funding increases as more people per capita are diagnosed with ASD, which results in hiring more people for team teaching. People who teach together will need more planning time between them during free periods; they will need to in many cases coordinate who is leading and who is working with individuals. Sometimes, there will be different ways of setting up the structure of classes. For example, a class may be split into half as if they were separate courses and therefore only one teacher per group (Vaughn, & Bos 2007). Political power to vie for better results when teaching those with ASD is greater, and therefore there is more pressure on instructors to succeed in their respective efforts (Grinker, 2008).


Boutot, A., & Myles, B. (2011). Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders. In Autism Spectrum Disorders Foundations, Characteristics, and Effective Strategies (pp. 34-67). Pearson.

Grinker, R. (2008). Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism (pp. 1-172). Basic Books.

Vaughn, S., & Bos, C. (2007). Response to Intervention: Developing Success for All Learners. In Teaching students who are exceptional, diverse, and at risk in the general education classroom (4th ed., p. 350 to 398). Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.

John Toker has a Master’s Degree in Education with a Concentration in LD K-12, and a Master’s Degree in Psychological Services with a Concentration in Counseling with a Post Master’s in Counseling. John is a tutor for Autism, Asperger’s, Dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, Executive Function Disorder and other learning issues. John taught in FCPS, and MCPS; he is usually a tutor in Northern Virginia, especially Fairfax County including McLean, Vienna, Reston VA and other areas in Fairfax County and sometimes a tutor in MCPS, in particular Potomac MD, Bethesda MD, and Rockville MD within Montgomery County.

Tutor, John Toker, web site to help people with ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, Autism, Asperger, Executive Function Disorder



Breaking Stereotypes about Learning Issues

Learning issues are too often connected to assumptions about respective abilities; ordinary people assume that those with them have too many obstacles to succeed in life. Albeit, many biographies reflect those with problems in school as part of their history to be highly accomplished in the work world. Business people, scientists artist and of many other professions learned to make their learning problems assets to excelling well beyond their peers. Ironically, many of those who teased people for having learning issues were simply good at memorizing school curriculum; they often had far less ability than those subject to criticism. It is essential that biographies of accomplished people are studied by those with learning challenges and those helping them. My tutoring services help students free themselves from stereotypes.


Tutoring Bridges Learning Gaps with Scholastic Strengths

Tutoring increases the odds of parents’ children being accepted at universities, and most importantly graduating from the schools. Too often homework, extra credit assignments, minimal math, science and writing requirements in high school leave aspiring college students unprepared for curriculum that is required at the college level. I find that those whom I tutor prefer to learn their assigned subject matter in a more comprehensive way, rather than through wrote memorization; in turn, they tend to form an ability to answer abstract questions that are tightly associated with university level of academic work.
Many of my students are misunderstood as simply ADHD, ADD, Dyslexic, Autistic, Executive Function Disorder, while they can often excel in school by being taught an individualized method or custom to their thinking way of learning curriculum.

John Toker, M.Ed. LD K-12, M.A.


First Quarter Grades Mini Crises, Need a Tutor ADHD, Dyslexia, Executive Function Disorder

Parents may find themselves in a scramble to get their children tutors because first quarter grades call for it. Many times students’ scores in school are not apparent until this time of year.

Some of my students started with me in the later part of the fall season. Naturally, I spend part of my tutorial sessions getting them caught up with their scholastics, while there is a need to focus on the new material as well.

 John Toker, M.Ed. LD K-12, M.A.