Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Autism & Geniuses

So I recently read the ending to "Thinking In Pictures." At first, I mentioned that I felt emotionally detached from it but then I found myself indulged in her informative style. She noted that autistic people are not necessarily unable to learn. It is said that most autistic people possess extreme knowledge in a certain subject but will lack in others. For example, Albert Einstein is one of the most well known scientist in the world! Did you know he had autistic traits?! It is the same case for Van Gogh and Wittgenstein. To take it back to the present, Bill Gates had autistic traits as well.

My views of autistic people have changed since. I learned that they are not necessarily that different than us. They just have a different mind set. Actually, they may possess knowledge far greater than we expect from them. Who knows? Maybe the autistic person sitting next to you in class may be the next Einstein or Van Gogh. As in Temple's case, she is a visual person. Although her communication and writing skills are not up to standards, her visionary skills far surpass those of "normal" people. This leads me to the question, what is normal anyways?

The last time I checked, there was no real specific definition for a normal person. In this society, there is so much pressure for people to fit into the social norm which causes people to shun those who are diagnosed with autism, a mental disorder, or anything out of the "ordinary." What I do not understand is the power of the media and the pressure to fit in. What is so great about fitting in? It is the uniqueness in each individual that makes that person who they are. I have learned to respect people for who they are.

By the way, I looking forward to going to New York this Friday and Newport on Saturday. I am anxious for this weekend to come.

1 comment:

Don Gosney said...


You may want to watch the Tom Cruise/Dustin Hoffman movie Rain Man. This movie much more accurately depicts being around an autistic savant than being around an Einstein or a Gates who MAY show SOME traits of autism.

There are different levels of autism, Meuy, but most are extreme and those that are autistic quite literally live in a different world than you and I.

I’m afraid that your suggestion that “they are not necessarily that different than us” may be truthful but not all that accurate. It suggests that autistic people are living and working around us all of the time when in reality most autistic people have to be institutionalized. Some family members are brave enough to care for their autistic family members at their own homes but that’s the minority of the cases and the exception to the rule.