The existence of autistic people considered gifted by some of his qualities of mind is a fascinating subject, but has been exaggerated in movies and novels.
Anyway, yes there is overlap between some revealing special abilities and autistic traits. This is indicated by the results of a new study on eight children prodigy, performed by the team psychologist Joanne Ruthsatz at Ohio State University (Mansfield campus) and Jourdan Urbach Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. These results suggest the existence of a possible link between autism and the special abilities of these children.
Of the eight child prodigies studied, three were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. As a group, children prodigy scores also tended to get slightly higher on a test of autistic traits, compared with children in a control group.
Moreover, half of the children had a family prodigy first or second grade diagnosed with autism.
The fact that there were some cases of autism in half of the families and that three of the prodigies were affected by autism is surprising since it appears only in one in 120 individuals.
The link between child prodigies and autism is quite clear in the new study, as outlined Ruthsatz. The results suggest that child prodigies have traits in common with autistic children, but something prevents exhibit deficits normally associated with asthma.
The study also found that although children prodigy scored high general intelligence, which stood out was in the working memory.
On the relationship between autistic and gifted, is difficult to say, but as Ruthsatz adventure, a significant amount of child prodigies may have some mild form of autism, caused by mechanisms that also provide them with his extraordinary talent.