BBC News: Autistic impressions.
Hollywood movies rarely deal with disability - except for autism, when characters are typically shown as having special intelligence. Why do we like to think everyone with autism is especially gifted? In one evening, he memorised every name and number from A to G in the phone book. While waiting for a meal in a restaurant, he committed the entire tableside jukebox to memory. A dropped box of toothpicks? One glance and he is certain that 246 have spilt on the floor. His mind was like a computer and, for years, Dustin Hoffman's Rain Man character has often been the first reference point for autism.
About one in every two hundred autistic people are savants. Autism is a spectrum disorder, with Asperger's Syndrome being on the mild end, and geeks can test in the "you might have a problem" range for Asperger's, as I found in an earlier blog post and essay. A new film, Adam, has a character with Asperger's Syndrome, and it may be a more true to life portrayal. The comments on this article are interesting, especially the woman who refers to walking outside being "akin to an extreme sport".