Thursday, April 3, 2008

Autistics Think Differently Than Non-autistics — Dramatically So

The Level and Nature of Autistic Intelligence (Dawson, Soulières, Gernsbacher, and Mottron, 2007) is a simple report—so simple its gist can be gleaned from just one of its pictures, that of Figure 3. But oh my, what a shattering image that is!

Think of Alzheimer’s versus control. Think of mercury poisoning versus control. Can we not surmise the same garden-variety distribution, only drifted farther down the diagonal? Autistics shock us not only with their northwesterly cluster—stunning enough as that is—but also in their clinging to the edges of the graph, like prisoners longing to escape the yard.

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