Remembering Dr Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks

On Sunday August 30th 2016 we lost Dr Oliver Sacks one of our finest story tellers of the human condition. Oliver was a neurologist who was passionate about understanding and appreciating  the richness of different ways of experiencing the world.

In the 1990s Oliver Sacks made a fascinating documentary that featured autism and  the work of the artist Jessica Park. Jessica’s early years had been documented in great detail in one of the seminal texts on autism written by Jessica’s mother, Clara Claiborne Park, in 1967 that was entitled The Siege. The documentary can be seen at The film begins with Oliver introducing an exhibition of Jessica’s work.

Jessica’s art work can be seen at

Oliver Sacks significantly influenced how we understand and respond to autism today. He most publicly emphasised the humanity and value of people whatever their category of impairment. Oliver will be much missed.



About The Autism Centre, Sheffield Hallam University

The Autism Centre is part of the Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion within the Faculty of Development and Society, Sheffield Hallam University. The Autism Centre promotes a view of autism as a different way of being. Whilst many people may live happy and accomplished lives with autism, different ways of being can challenge and confuse others. To help with understanding The Autism Centre delivers accredited courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level. Its team of academics engage with research and consultancy and publish widely on the autism spectrum and disability.
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