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Neurodiversity
While autistic individuals are known to suffer from deficits in social communication, it is less often recognized that they possess specific strengths in other areas.  One strength relates to their ability to see details.  In fact, they can pick out details in a more complex visual design better than so-called “neuro-typical (e.g. “normal”) people (see examples...
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Temple Grandin is probably the most famous autistic person living today.  Her life will be chronicled on an HBO special starting in February, 2010.  Among her many achievements is the development of a “squeeze machine.”  Because of her autism, she resists the touch of others and doesn’t like to be hugged.  But she craves the...
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The Economist had an article in its September 28, 2006 issue that featured a California psychiatry professor who used the Internet to demonstrate the inner experience of schizophrenia: “Peter Yellowlees, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, has been teaching about schizophrenia for 20 years, but says that he was never really...
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I just read an interesting editorial in the current issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry on schizophrenia.  In particular this paragraph intrigued me: “What causes schizophrenia? The short answer may be “nothing” or more precisely “no one thing.” In most cases, schizophrenia is an end result of a complex interaction between thousands of genes...
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International studies conducted by the World Health Organization over the past three decades, have concluded that people with schizophrenia fare better over time in developing countries compared with industrialized nations.  In the current issue of The New York Times Magazine, writer Ethan Watters has an article entitled The Americanization of Mental Illness, wherein he provides some interesting...
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