Philosophy

 

Countless historic and contemporary innovators have been or likely  would have been diagnosed with autism spectrum conditions.  Many  successful people with these conditions believe it gives them unique  advantages to problem solve they can use to overcome challenges.   Current research and the writings of autism authors confirm those  advantages.  Autism Advantage is an innovative practice devoted to  working with adolescents and adults with these conditions to understand  their unique personality styles and use  their gifts to overcome social challenges and associated  anxiety and depression.


Everyone is a unique blend of personality factors, thought  patterns, and behaviors that individuates them as a person.  People with  autism spectrum conditions generally share some challenges relating to  social functioning that can be obvious to others and limiting at school  and in the workplace.


What others don't always see are the positive  characteristics people with these diagnoses often have that give them an  advantage in their environment.  These advantages have been identified  in published research,  the writings of specialists, and anecdotally through reports  of those with these diagnoses.


Current published research has identified many advantages  those diagnosed with autism typically show including that approximately  1/3 of those with these diagnoses have "savant like" skills in one or  more areas.  Overall people with autism possess a greater ability to  process information. Advantages are shown in visual search abilities  including divided attention tasks, reaction time, scanning efficiency,  discrimination between targets and distractors, perception of visual  features, and increased accuracy. Visual grouping is also enhanced such  as being more sensitive to symmetry along all axes and better ability to  extract irregularities from noisy environments.  Mental representation  advantages are shown including better accuracy in the formation of  mental images, better speed and accuracy of mental rotation, and better  access and manipulation of mental models.


Autism authors including Tony Attwood, Simon Baron-Cohen,  and others have extended this list to include advantages in many other  areas such as the better understanding of physical systems, increased  scores on tests of intuitive physics, higher detail orientation, better  at identifying technical errors, earlier preparation for faster learning  about the environment, increased frequency of and interest in smelling,  more acute hearing, increased desire to seek perfection, higher  valuation of creativity, honesty and sense of social justice, advanced  vocabularies, more original solutions, relative freedom from sexism or  racism, dependability and ability to follow rules, intense interest  in certain topics, a better rote memory, increased pitch perception,  better ability to solve puzzles faster, less aptitude to false memories,  stronger abilities  to memorize, and a high degree of scientific objectivity.


Those with autism spectrum conditions note other advantages  including increased focus, global insights to problems, independent  thinking, internal motivation, logical decision making, creativity, and  concentration.