Joey: 'A Mechanical Boy.'

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Bettelheim, Bruno. "Joey: 'A Mechanical Boy.'" Scientific American March 1959. Rpt. Man Alone: Alienation in Modern Society, q.v. under Background. A case study of an autistic boy who was convinced that he was a machine. (See L. Yablonsky, Robopaths: People as Machines, this Category.)[1] Joey creates for himself an "artificial, mechanical womb," initially an "electrical papoose."

Addendum: For a more positive if tangential view, note reported identification of children on the autism scale with Brent Spiner's Data character in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Spiner has said he'd "have adults come up to him during Star Trek conventions and thank him for his work. ¶ 'One man told me that I was the poster boy for kids with Asperger’s' [...]. ¶ The only time that Spiner caught wind of this while acting on Star Trek was when the respected Dr. Oliver Sacks dropped by the studio trailer looking for Spiner. Sacks would later write a book about autism that mentioned a patient who could only relate to 'Data.'”[2]

Spiner's book, with Jeanne Darst, Fan Fiction: A Men-Noir (sic), which claims on the dust jacket and title page to be "Inspired By True Events" has a more formal disclaimer on the copyright page, "This is a work of fiction," with "events portrayed" as "either products of the author's imagination or used factitiously" (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2021). With that in mind, this quotation from Sacks's comments in the studio trailer as presented in Fan Fiction:

"You see, Mr. Spiner — the inner world of a person with autism or Asperger's syndrome is very much like the feeling of being an emotionless android in a society of emotional humans. Like Data, they were born with a disability — they don't have an intuitive understanding of human feelings. It's a slow process of sometimes extremely difficult learning. [...] So when they see what Data goes through, they relate to him. Relating to others offers self-esteem for them. He gives them self-esteem but also inspiration and hope. I even have a patient who has only one friend: Data. He can relate only to Data. In a way, you saved his life. You've touched people beyond the fan base, of which I am certainly a member." (p. 119; ch. 15)

RDE, initial; expanded RDE, finishing, 12Dec21