About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This thing is like that thing.

In comparing late talker and PDD-NOS, I've focused on the negatives - primarily language and social impairment. The flip side of the coin is also compelling. That is, research is showing that autisitics and "late talkers" are intellectually advantaged in a similar way.

Specifically, in an article entitled "The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know," Wired reports:

"One of the leading researchers...is Laurent Mottron, 55, a psychiatrist specializing in autism...By the mid-1990s, Mottron was a faculty member at the University of Montreal, where he began publishing papers on "atypicalities of perception" in autistic subjects. When performing certain mental tasks — especially when tapping visual, spatial, and auditory functions — autistics have shown superior performance compared with neurotypicals. Call it the upside of autism. Dozens of studies — Mottron's and others — have demonstrated that people with autism spectrum disorder have a number of strengths: a higher prevalence of perfect pitch, enhanced ability with 3-D drawing and pattern recognition, more accurate graphic recall, and various superior memory skills."

These strengths correlate to those identified by Sowell as typical of late talkers, but Sowell asserts that such strengths are proof positive that late talkers aren't in fact autistic. That and "he attended college!" And hundreds, if not thousands, of parents cling to the "Einstein Syndrome" based on this type of specious logic and anecdotal nonsense.

The icing on the cake: experts speculate that Albert Einstein, the beloved namesake for the "syndrome" Sowell coined, may have actually played for the other team. Ditto for Beethoven, Mozart, Hans Christian Andersen and Immanuel Kant.

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