Succeeding in College with Asperger Syndrome: A Student Guide

By John Harpur; Maria Lawlor et al. | Go to book overview

10 Inspirational AS
Thinkers and
Scientists

An awareness of the valuable positive features of AS has been growing over the past two decades. Researchers have noted a variety of outstanding historical thinkers and scientists who appear to have had symptoms of AS. This is leading to an examination of the impact of autistic spectrum disorders on the growth of scientific knowledge. Since all of these people have passed away, can we reasonably claim they had AS? Any postmortem psychiatric diagnosis must have a degree of uncertainty in its conclusions. The patient is not around for an interview. Despite drawing comfort from the rule that one cannot libel the dead, one has to be as scrupulous as possible in examining their lives. However, combining what the individuals wrote about themselves, their behaviours and areas of interest, and other contemporaries’ reports of the same features, we can reach some reasonable conclusions. We do not say: Yes, he had AS. No doubt about that. Nevertheless we can say: Yes, he had very pronounced AS traits, but he seemed to cope quite well overall. In other words, a lot of what we know about the individual is consistent with what we know about how people with AS live their lives. We know that there are many highly successful people with undiagnosed AS, particularly in academic pursuits. So it

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