(At this point, this third category is only a hypothesis, though I’ve found scientific support for it. It has transformed my thinking about autistic people’s strengths.)
the fact that she has a PhD. and is like, rilly smart?
Isn't that why we can instantly spot the sameness between Comic Sans, Helvetica, and Times New Roman?
Well, some people can, some people can't.
the ability to abstract singular events into a broader framework, to recognize similarity between situations and to make contextual connections.
The secret to her success is that she rarely uses emotional arguments to win her battles but rather, helps to implement change by working with regulatory bodies that economically punish meat-packing plants that do not pass regular audits. She has also persuaded big beef purchasers like McDonalds and Wendy’s to sever ties with meat-packers that fail these audits. She has proven that economic consequences typically get fast results. link
And yet here we all are, commenting or asking questions or even making pronouncements on something neurosciencey, and most or none of us have PhDs in it or any other related science. Amazing.
"that finds its greatest fulfillment not in the fizzy buzz of forming a personal relationship but in the click-clack logic of writing code." The argument as framed by the excerpt seems to be that the path towards a neurodiverse society leads through and only through the marketplace, where the autistic mind can be recognized as a valuable commodity.
Once I realized that thinking in patterns might be a third category, alongside thinking in pictures and thinking in words, I started seeing examples everywhere. (At this point, this third category is only a hypothesis, though I’ve found scientific support for it. It has transformed my thinking about autistic people’s strengths.)....
...I’m certainly not the first person to notice that patterns are part of how humans think.
For years I had been giving lectures, and I had made an assumption without even knowing it: I think in pictures; I'm autistic;therefore,all autistic people think in pictures. Made sense to me. If you say the word train to me, I automatically see a subway train in New York; a train that goes right through the campus of the university where I teach; a coal train in Fort Morgan, near my home; a train I rode in England...
But now, I wanted to find out whether the autistic people in the audience actually did think the same way I did. So I started asking audience members who introduced themselves to me after my lectures, "What was- or "is" as if I were talking to a child, "your favorite subject in school?" Often the answer wasn't art class, as you would expect from a visual thinker. Instead, a lot of the time it was history.
History? I thought. History is full of facts, and facts are full of words, not pictures.
But then one day I got an advance copy of a book in the mail, Exiting Nirvana, A Daughter's Life with Autism, by Clara Claiborne Park. The publisher wanted to know if I would write a blurb for it- a quote recommending the book would appear on the back cover. I already knew about Clara and her daughter Jessica, or Jessy....
I had written about Jessy a little bit in Thinking in Pictures, I referred to an elaborate system of symbols and numbers that Jessy had invented in order to navigate her life. Things she considered very good, like rock music, she labeled with four doors and no clouds. Things she considered pretty good she rated, two doors and two clouds. And the spoken word deserved no doors and four clouds- the worst rating.
She painted the objects in her artwork in photorealistic detail from memory, so she clearly could think in pictures, as I do. But her artwork was not like my drawings, the pictures she saw in her mind weren't my kinds of pictures....
So what kind of mind was hers? How was her brain wired? Did my system of dividing the world of autism into picture thinkers and word-fact thinkers deserve a rating of zero doors and four clouds?....
I focused hard on anything that might give me a clue about Jessy's thinking....
I thought about the Raven's Progressive Matrices Test... at the age of twenty-three, Jessy had scored in the ninety-fifth percentile on the test.....
I also thought about a work of origami.. that a boy had presented to me after one of my talks. It was unlike any work of origami I had ever seen.. his parents.. said he was gifted in math.... It certainly took a mathematical mind to engineer such a complicated structure. But didn't such a subtle and beautiful work of art have to be the product of a visual mind too? Maybe, I thought, people who are really good at math think in patterns.
Once I realized that thinking in patterns may be a third category, alongside thinking in pictures and thinking in words, I started seeing examples everywhere.
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