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Asperger's Syndrome And High Achievement: Some Very Remarkable People

Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! This book describes the lives and personalities of 20 remarkable people from the past, who may well have had Asperger's syndrome AS. Famous in the fields of art, literature and science, among others, they illustrate vividly how highly intelligent people are able to surmount some of the problems that AS causes and achieve so much - more than might have been possible without it.

It certainly illustrates how much the world owes to people with AS. It would be relevant to anyone with an interest in AS. He also helps to explain what some dismiss as "artistic creativity" as actually a logical aspect of AS. This fascinating collection identifies famous figures from the past whose behaviour suggests they may have had autism, a disorder that was not defined until the midth century.

James looks at the lives of 20 individuals - scientists, artists, politicians and philosophers - examining in detail their interests, successes, indifferences and shortcomings. Among the profiles are those of mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell, who wondered in his autobiography how he managed to hurt the people around him quite without meaning to; biologist Alfred Kinsey, who excelled in academia but was ill at ease in social situations; and the writer Patricia Highsmith, who had very definite likes fountain pens and absence of noise and dislikes television and four-course meals.

From Albert Einstein to Philip of Spain, these intriguing individuals all showed clear evidence of autistic traits. This book will be of interest to general readers and anyone with a personal or professional interest in autism. Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist.

Ships in 15 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Michelangelo Buonarroti Philip of Spain Isaac Newton Jonathan Swift John Howard c. Henry Cavendish Thomas Jefferson Vincent van Gogh Eric Satie Bertrand Russell Albert Einstein Children and adults who excel in one area, such as math, are often very poor in other areas. The abilities are very uneven. Einstein was a poor speller and did poorly in foreign language.

The brilliant physicist, Richard Feynman, did poorly in some subjects. A review of the literature indicates that being truly outstanding in any field may be associated with some type of abnormality. Kay Redfield Jamison, from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, has reviewed many studies that show the link with manic depressive illness and creativity. Andreason at the University of Iowa found that 80 percent of creative writers had mood disorders sometime during their life.

A study of mathematical giftedness, conducted at Iowa State University by Camilla Persson, found that mathematical giftedness was correlated with being near-sighted and having an increased incidence of allergies. A little bit of autism genes may provide an intellectual advantage and too much of the genetic may cause a severe case of autism.

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There appear to be two basic types of thinking in intellectually gifted people who have Asperger's or high functioning autism. The highly social, verbal thinkers who are in the educational system need to understand that their thought processes are different. The two types are totally visual thinkers like me; and the music, math and memory thinkers which are described in Thomas Sowell's book, Late Talking Children.

I have interviewed several of these people, and their thoughts work in patterns in which there are no pictures. Sowell reports that in the family histories of late talking, music math and memory children, 74 percent of the families will have an engineer or a relative in a highly technical field such as physics, accounting, or mathematics. Most of these children also had a relative that played a musical instrument. Every thought I have is represented by a picture.

When I think about a dog, I see a series of pictures of specific dogs, such as my student's dog or the dog next door. There is no generalized verbal 'dog' concept in my mind. I form my dog concept by looking for common features that all dogs have, and no cats have. For example, all of the different breeds of dogs have the same kind of nose.

Asperger’s Syndrome and High Achievement Some Very Remarkable People

My thought process goes from specific pictures to general concepts, where as most people think from general to specific. I have no vague, abstract, language-based concepts in my head, only specific pictures.


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When I do design work, I can run three-dimensional, full motion "video" images of the cattle handling equipment in my head. I can "test run" the equipment on the "virtual reality" computer that is in my imagination. Visual thinkers who are expert computer programmers have told me that they can see the entire program "tree," and then they write the code on each branch. It is almost as if I have two consciences. Pictures are my real thoughts, and language acts as a narrator. I narrate from the "videos" and "slides" I see in my imagination. For example, my language narrator might say, "I can design that.

When the correct answer pops into my head, it is a video of the successful piece of equipment working.

High-functioning autism

At this point, my language narrator says, "I figured out how to do it. Images are constantly passing through the computer screen of my imagination. I can see thought processes that others have covered up with language. I do not require language for either consciousness or for thinking. When I learned drafting for doing my design work, it took time to train my visual mind to make the connection between the symbolic lines on a layout drawing and an actual building. To learn this I had to take the set of blueprints and walk around in the building, looking at the square concrete support columns, seeing how the little squares on the drawing related to the actual columns.

After I had "programmed" my brain to read drawings, the ability to draw blueprints appeared almost by magic. It took time to get information in, but after I was "programmed," the skill appeared rather suddenly. Researchers who have studied chess players state that the really good chess players have to spend time inputting chess patterns into their brains. I can really relate to this. When I design equipment I take bits of pictures and pieces of equipment I have seen in the past and re-assemble them into new designs. It is like taking things out of the memory of a CAD computer drafting system, except I can re-assemble the pieces into three-dimensional, moving videos.

Constance Mibrath and Bryan Siegal at the University of California found that talented, autistic artists assemble the whole from the parts. It is "bottom up thinking," instead of "top down thinking. Children and teenagers with autism or Asperger's need teachers who can help them develop their talents. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of developing a talent into an employable skill. The visual thinkers like me can become experts in fields such as computer graphics, drafting, computer programming, automotive repair, commercial art, industrial equipment design, or working with animals.

The music, math, and memory type children can excel in mathematics, accounting, engineering, physics, music, translating engineering and legal documents, and other technical skills. Unless the student's mathematical skills are truly brilliant, I would recommend taking courses in library science, accounting, engineering, or computers.

Asperger’s syndrome and high achievement (some very remarkable people)

Learning a technical skill will make the person highly employable. There are few jobs for mediocre mathematicians or physicists. Since social skills are weak, the person can make up for them by making themselves so good at something that people will hire them.


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