“An Autistic Mind Opens Mine (Can It Open Yours?)”

In the two years since I discovered that my condition had a name, I’ve learned a lot about autism. This article, from the blog that originally drew my attention to it, has a very good summary of it — and indirectly points out that, despite the challenges that it creates, a little autism can be a very good thing:

Grandin’s soapbox last night was that people with autism fall all along the spectrum, and that the limitations people with autism face range from terrible handicaps to barely any. TI and NASA are full of people on the spectrum, she joked (but wasn’t kidding). And she pointed out that Steve Jobs had personal hygiene issues early on, just as she did.

If you have any interest in autism or the brain in general, the article is worth a read.


    • From your comment and what little I can find on the site, I assume this guy (or his father?) is claiming that his autism gives him the gift of prophecy? Autism does have its compensations, but that’s the first time I’ve heard of prophecy being listed as one of them.

      For what it’s worth, I know that some people can do things that science can’t explain (this is one example), I just don’t see that autism has anything to do with it.

      • I’m very skeptical of that website, my comment was sarcastic. I do agree of course, being a member of a revealed religion, that prophecy exists – but it’s not part of our era that much IMO. I have met a couple of tzadikim (very rightous people) who appeared to be able to read minds, however….

        • Not to discount their abilities, but that’s not all that hard in many cases. GoddessJ accuses me of reading her mind regularly, but her thoughts are readily available to anyone who pays attention to her face and body language.

          • Yes, it could be simply empathy, which, being in the empathy business, they no doubt had plenty of. By the way, in both cases, they weren’t claiming to be doing it or doing any sort of “parlor trick”, in one case he gave me a blessing in relation to something I was thinking about but haven’t told anyone, and in the other, a different Rebbe reacted to something I was thinking. In either case, it could be explained otherwise, and neither of them was trying to show off their abilities – though it is commonly thought that a true tzaddik can read minds.

  1. I used to feel that way too as my little girl who is 6 has autism, however seeing the stress a mainstream class caused her and seeing how confussing it was for the other kids in her class has had me doing a lot of thinking. At this point we (mom and the school) realized we may have jumped the gun in mainstreaming her before she was ready, most kids on the asd spectrum do not want to be part of a class with 30 kids and its unfair to the child and the teacher who is constantly having to redirect in some cases. My child enjoys being part of a smaller classroom with a more routine based classroom and tends to thrive in this environment. I dont think its fair to the autistic child to feel isolated during meltdowns and times of stress, and its not fair for the other classmates at such a young age to have to understand this or have this distracting them either. So i can understand both sides. If mainstreaming is working that is great, but if it is not you need to know when your child needs a more supporting classroom.

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