Do You Recognize the Gifts of Children With Aspergers?

Gifts of Children with Aspergers

photo credit tomate de’epingles on Flickr

Children with Aspergers have unique gifts and thinking patterns.  Dr. Grandin has her PhD in Animal Science, and is the author of multiple books on autism.  She is a professor at Colorado State University, and has become an advocate and spokesperson for persons with Autism and Aspergers.

Dr. Grandin argues for neurodiversity.   Neurodiversity is an idea which asserts that atypical (neurodivergent) neurological development is a normal human difference that is to be recognized and respected as any other human variation.[1] Differences may arise in ways of processing information, including language, sound, images, light, texture, taste, or movement. (borrowed from this Wikipedia definition)

Dr. Grandin’s talk demystified the autism spectrum and highlights unique, positive characteristics of the Autism Aspergers continuum.

First, Dr. Grandin talked about the fact that some children with Aspergers have a visual mind.  To understand this visual intelligence, she stated that we have to understand that these children actually think in pictures.  (She explains this in detail in her book, Thinking in Pictures).  When she hears the word  ”steeple” , Dr. Grandin recalls specific images from different points in her life.  So for every word, her mind “downloads”  a sequence of images, almost like a videotape.  The visual thinker has a perspective that many average people don’t.

Another type of ‘mind’ or gifted thinking that Dr. Grandin described is the pattern thinker.  The pattern mind is gifted at seeing patterns in data.  As a result, they tend to excel in math and music, but can often struggle with reading, for example.

The verbal thinker, or verbal mind, is highly attuned to language and words.  In fact, Dr. Linda Holliday Wiley, author of Pretending to Be Normal, writes about how she loved her books, and how she was fascinated with the different words contained in those books.  Unfortunately, although some of these children with Aspergers have high word recognition, they may struggle with comprehension of more abstract comprehension.  But this varies by child.

Verbal minds, patterned thinking minds, visual minds.  These are just three of the types of minds found in the Autism Aspergers spectrum.  I am posting Dr. Grandin’s talk here so that you can view and listen to her entire talk.

Perhaps her best point is that we as parents, teachers, and therapists, must recognize the beauty and diversity of the child with Aspergers.  In this way we may be able to recognize and cultivate the next generation of Einsteins, Mozarts, and other gifted world citizens.

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About Stephen Borgman

 I'm Steve Borgman.  I'm a licensed clinical professional counselor and blogger committed to bringing you hope, understanding, and solutions that you can apply to your life immediately.
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Comments

  1. nursing schools says:

    Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, I bookmarked it.

  2. Henrysmum says:

    It’s a bit puzzing why some neurodiversity advocates attack kgaccount on you tube when the mum is clearly not in the same camp as vaccines caused my son’s autism group. I’ve seen her videos.

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  1. Time Travel: Einstein’s Big Idea (theory Of Relativity) | Home Of Travel says:

    [...] Do You Recognize the Gifts of Children With Aspergers? – Bringing … [...]

  2. Tweets that mention Do You Recognize the Gifts of Children With Aspergers? -- Topsy.com says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Borgman and Candi Kelly, Amalia Starr. Amalia Starr said: RT @SteveBorgman: Do You Recognize the Gifts of Children With Aspergers? http://ping.fm/beJeR [...]

  3. [...] 1. Recognize the positive characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome. [...]

  4. [...] parents, teachers, and therapists, we must respect the individual gifts and talents of each person on the autism spectrum.  Just because s/he does not “fit the mold” of what we think is best, does not mean [...]

  5. [...] drawing, art, computer programming, even words/language.  Be sure to be on the look out for those strengths and talents, just as you would with any other student.  Encourage the child and his/her parents to expand that [...]

  6. [...] may want to read about the strengths of children on the autism spectrum. Look for your child’s unique strengths, points of view, sense of humor, personality.  [...]

  7. [...] children are already gifted with a lot of intelligence. You can frame these activities to them as a way of learning [...]

  8. [...] value your child’s positive characteristics and unique viewpoints.  Don’t box her in with your expectations of who she should [...]

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  1. Time Travel: Einstein’s Big Idea (theory Of Relativity) | Home Of Travel says:

    [...] Do You Recognize the Gifts of Children With Aspergers? – Bringing … [...]

  2. Tweets that mention Do You Recognize the Gifts of Children With Aspergers? -- Topsy.com says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve Borgman and Candi Kelly, Amalia Starr. Amalia Starr said: RT @SteveBorgman: Do You Recognize the Gifts of Children With Aspergers? http://ping.fm/beJeR [...]

  3. [...] 1. Recognize the positive characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome. [...]

  4. [...] parents, teachers, and therapists, we must respect the individual gifts and talents of each person on the autism spectrum.  Just because s/he does not “fit the mold” of what we think is best, does not mean [...]

  5. [...] drawing, art, computer programming, even words/language.  Be sure to be on the look out for those strengths and talents, just as you would with any other student.  Encourage the child and his/her parents to expand that [...]

  6. [...] may want to read about the strengths of children on the autism spectrum. Look for your child’s unique strengths, points of view, sense of humor, personality.  [...]

  7. [...] children are already gifted with a lot of intelligence. You can frame these activities to them as a way of learning [...]

  8. [...] value your child’s positive characteristics and unique viewpoints.  Don’t box her in with your expectations of who she should [...]