Posts Tagged ‘ Oliver Sacks ’

And you keep half

Aug 23rd, 2016 6:18 pm | By

And now for something nice, instead. A colleague and friend reminisces about Oliver Sacks.

A year ago, I lost my best friend, Oliver Sacks. For many years, each week, Oliver and I would cruise north on the West Side bike path at sunrise. Alone, our bicycles a few inches apart, we spoke about everything and anything, but mostly about interesting patients, natural history, and food. His voice was soft, and I struggled to hear his words. But his volume and pedalling cadence always accelerated when the massive TRUMP PLACE buildings appeared to our right. He detested the giant protuberances that unpleasantly punctuated the view from our bike seats, and often cursed them.


Instead, he looked forward to passing

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When Sacks met Grandin

Sep 2nd, 2015 5:53 pm | By

The Temple Grandin chapter of An Anthropologist on Mars was originally an article in the New Yorker.

Kanner and Asperger had looked at autism clinically, providing descriptions of such fullness and accuracy that even now, fifty years later, they can hardly be bettered. But it was not until the nineteen-seventies that Beate Hermelin and Neil O’Connor and their colleagues in London, trained in the new discipline of cognitive psychology, focussed on the mental structure of autism in a more systematic way. Their work (and that of Lorna Wing, in particular) suggested that in all autistic individuals there was a core problem, a consistent triad of impairments: impairment of social interaction with others, impairment of verbal and nonverbal communication, and

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Three memories of Oliver Sacks

Sep 2nd, 2015 5:14 pm | By

Wired got some scientists to talk about what Oliver Sacks had meant to them.

Temple Grandin is the first.

A few weeks ago, I read an editorial he wrote about the Sabbath. He was originally brought up as an Orthodox Jew, but he decided to go another route, and at the end of the article he writes, “What if A and B and C had been different? What sort of person might I have been? What sort of a life might I have lived?” I just burst into tears in front of the computer reading that. I was crying so much I couldn’t even print it out. I sent him this card just before he died:

I started

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The life of Inky

Sep 1st, 2015 9:44 am | By

Michiko Kakutani on Oliver Sacks:

Those case studies captured the emotional and metaphysical, as well as physiological, dimensions of his patients’ conditions. While they tracked the costs and isolation these individuals often endured, they also emphasized people’s resilience — their ability to adapt to their “deficits,” enabling them to hold onto a sense of identity and agency. Some even find that their conditions spur them to startling creative achievement.

I remember reading one of his books in a book group years ago and getting into an intense argument about that ability to adapt to “deficits”…arguing over Temple Grandin, and what she said about experiencing being Temple Grandin. I argued that from her perspective her autism wasn’t a deficit, it … Read the rest

He spent his final days doing what he loved

Aug 31st, 2015 2:41 pm | By

The Oliver Sacks Foundation on Facebook:

Oliver Sacks died early this morning at his home in Greenwich Village, surrounded by his close friends and family. He was 82. He spent his final days doing what he loved—playing the piano, writing to friends, swimming, enjoying smoked salmon, and completing several articles. His final thoughts were of gratitude for a life well lived and the privilege of working with his patients at various hospitals and residences including the Little Sisters of the Poor in the Bronx and in Queens, New York.

Dr. Sacks was writing to the last. On August 14, he published an essay, “Sabbath,” in the New York Times. Two more articles are to be published this week,

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