Tag Archives: peek

The Real Rain Man

rain

Just in case you still don’t know who the real inspiration for the 1988 film The Rain Man is yet, watch the videos below. This documentary is about an Autistic Savant named Kim Peek, who had an exceptional memory. He loved reading most of his life. It has been known that he was capable of reading and memorizing books very quickly. Some said that he could speed read a whole book in about an hour, and remember most of the important details in it.

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More on Autism:

Never EVER say these things to people iwth Autism!

He flaps his hands and screams a lot but he doesn’t mean to annoy you

Optimum Outcomes for people with Autism

DSM 5 and its implications to ASD diagnosis

Diagnosing Autism: What you need to know

Vote for Miss Montana 2012, Alexis Wineman

What does Autism mean?

What is PDD-NOS?

Communication difficulties in Autism

Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper: Asperger’s Syndrome’s Poster Boy?

Still unsure if Sheldon has Asperger’s?

DSM-V and Autism

The Autistic Me: BBC Documentary

Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds

Autism in the classroom:

Guide to parents of students with ASD on coping with the first day back to school

Common signs of Autism in the classroom

First day back to school: Top tips for parents of children with Autism

Practical tips to make your classroom Autism-Friendly

Inspiring People with Autism:

Dr. Temple Grandin

Jessica-Jane Applegate (British Paralympian)

Satoshi Tajiri (Pokemon creator)

Carly Fleischmann

More on Savants:

The Psychology of Savants: Memory Masters

Artists with Autism

The Einstein Effect: Is there a link between having Autism and being a genius?

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The Einstein Effect: Is there a relationship between having Autism and being a genius?

This documentary features one of science’s enigmas, the Savants, a.k.a. ‘The Knowing Ones’. There are less than 100 known Savants in the world today and half of them have Autism. These people have extraordinary talents in areas such as Mathematics and Art. A lot of them have brilliant memories, too (check out my post on The Psychology of Savants: Memory Masters). Scientists in the documentary below conducted experiements that looked at the workings of the brain to answer questions about how the brains of the Savants work. They also wondered whether geniuses such as Albert Einstein and Mozart had Autism. Watch and enjoy:

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More on Savants:

Vote for Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman

The Psychology of Savants: Memory Masters

Artists with Autism

More on Autism:

What does Autism mean?

Communication difficulties in Autism

Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper: Asperger’s Syndrome’s Poster Boy?

Guide to parents of students with ASD on coping with the first day back to school

Inspiring People with Autism:

Dr. Temple Grandin

Jessica-Jane Applegate (British Paralympian)

Satoshi Tajiri (Pokemon creator)

Carly Fleischmann

The Psychology of The Savants Series: Memory Masters

Savants (the knowing ones) are people with neurological conditions like Autism Spectrum Conditions, who also possess incredible intellectual abilities. The videos below are about Savants with impressive memories. Watch and be amazed:

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More on Autism:

Vote for Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman

What does Autism mean?

Communication difficulties in Autism

Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper: Asperger’s Syndrome’s Poster Boy?

Guide to parents of students with ASD on coping with the first day back to school

Inspiring People with Autism:

Dr. Temple Grandin

Jessica-Jane Applegate (British Paralympian)

Satoshi Tajiri (Pokemon creator)

Carly Fleischmann

What does AUTISM mean to me?

The Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV)‘s definition of Autism is as follows:

ASD is a spectrum of disorders characterized by impairments in three areas (also known as the ‘Triad of Impairments’):

  1. Communication- delays in language development; impaired ability to initiate and/ or sustain conversations
  2. Social skills- lack of typical eye-contact when communicating; failure to display and/or identify and express appropriate emotions; limited peer relationships
  3. Repetitive and stereotyped behaviours and interests- inflexibility to routine changes; intense preoccupation to objects

Having worked with students and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders for years, it comes to no surprise that people often ask me what Autism is, probably expecting a simplified version of the one offered by the DSM-IV. However, my response often pleasantly surprises most people. I believe that Autism represents a great personal and societal responsibility to learn, understand and embrace the different ways in which human beings are.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition which affects between 1/88 to 1/100 individuals. Compared to those without the condition, each individual with Autism is observed to have unique developmental trajectories particularly in the areas of language and social skills. To understand how different their language and social interactions can be, watch the Youtube clip below which features Amanda Baggs, a young woman with Autism:

Amanda made a very important point there when she asked why her “failure to learn our language is seen as a deficit while our failure to learn hers is seen as natural”. This to me highlights one of the deficiencies of the DSM’s definition stated above. The DSM states that people with Autism’s ability to initiate and sustain conversations is impaired. However, I feel that this does not take into consideration the various different ways in which people with Autism attempt to communicate with us. I believe that half of this communication difficulty lies within us Neurotypicals. We need to figure out whether or not a person with Autism is communicating with us and what they are trying to tell us.

Dr. Thomas Armstrong pointed out in his book that individuals with Autism are normally viewed in terms of what they can’t do instead of what they can. This can be seen in the definition above- individuals can’t do this, can’t do that, and they are impaired in this and that areas of development. As mentioned, I prefer to think of Autism as a different developmental trajectory. Not impaired; not disabled. If we take a closer look at the way they process visual information, we will notice that they have a phenomenal eye for detail. some of them also have amazing memories.An example of how great a person with Autism’s memory could be is the case of Kim Peek, also known as ‘The Real Rain Man’, as he was the inspiration behind Dustin Hoffman’s move, Rain Man.

A person who demonstrates both the ability to keep an eye for detail and memorizing is Stephen Wiltshire. Stephen, who is diagnosed with Autism at an early age, is a British artist capable of drawing detailed and accurate depictions of cities and landmarks from memory. Take a look:

Stephen Wiltshire draws Rome from memory:

It is important to keep in mind that people with Autism are not one and the same. As Francesca Happe stated, ‘when you meet one person with Autism, you’ve met one person with Autism’. Stephen Wiltshire, Kim Peek and Amanda Baggs are in no way representative of every single person with Autism. Nevertheless, they represent the different ways in which Autism manifests. More importantly, their cases highlight the fact that a diagnosis of Autism marks not the end of the road to life, but the beginning of the road to understanding and acceptance. People with Autism may not be the same as you and I, but that does not mean that they should be ignored, avoided or be pitied. We have an enormous responsibility not only to help and support them, but also to help other people understand what Autism really is. We have to start viewing Autism in the light of what they CAN do, not on what they can’t.

More on Autism:

He flaps his hands and screams a lot but he doesn’t mean to annoy you

Optimum Outcomes for people with Autism

DSM 5 and its implications to ASD diagnosis

Diagnosing Autism: What you need to know

Vote for Miss Montana 2012, Alexis Wineman

What is PDD-NOS?

Communication difficulties in Autism

Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper: Asperger’s Syndrome’s Poster Boy?

Still unsure if Sheldon has Asperger’s?

DSM-V and Autism

The Autistic Me: BBC Documentary

Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds

Autism in the classroom:

Guide to parents of students with ASD on coping with the first day back to school

Common signs of Autism in the classroom

First day back to school: Top tips for parents of children with Autism

Practical tips to make your classroom Autism-Friendly

Inspiring People with Autism:

Dr. Temple Grandin

Jessica-Jane Applegate (British Paralympian)

Satoshi Tajiri (Pokemon creator)

Carly Fleischmann

More on Savants:

The Psychology of Savants: Memory Masters

Artists with Autism

The Einstein Effect: Is there a link between having Autism and being a genius?