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My nephew's drawing of a person and a houseMy nephew is very creative. He views the world in a unique way. He’s super smart and has the ability to focus on many things other people miss.

I love this artwork he created. He enjoys drawing very small and detailed things. Someday he may be an inventor.

He was diagnosed with a very mild form of autism a few years ago. Autism is a complicated thing. Though some people see it as a handicap, I think that people with autism can function in ways other people can’t. Autism gives a person an interesting set of filters to view life that “normal” people don’t have. If you haven’t seen the movie Temple Grandin, I would highly recommend that you do. It was one of my favorite movies of the last five years.

Everyone has some level of “abnormalities” that are used to categorize individuals. We may not have enough to be put into a distinct personality disorder box, but we all function strongly in some areas and weakly in others.

We’re all weird. And I’m glad about that.

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4 Replies to “Labels”

  1. I completely agree with everything you’ve said about our nephew and people in general.

    (PS — looks like ‘comments’ is working now, although the “test post” did not appear — unless you’ve posted and already deleted it.)

  2. My fiancee’s favorite TV program is Monk. She identifies with his OCD, even though her own tendencies that way are very mild.

    I read Born On A Blue Day, written by a guy with Asperger’s, and was fascinated by the amazing things his mind can do. He set the world record by reciting pi by memory to 10,000 places. He explained how to him every number has a shape, and mathematical functions are simply a matter of how the shapes combine into new shapes. He’s socially marginal, but has the capacity to do things a normal person can’t even dream of.

    There was a guy featured a few months ago who had an accident that caused a brain injury. As a result, he became a compulsive musical composer. Tunes run through his head and across his vision as shapes, and he feels stress if he doesn’t get them written down. His personality changed, too; he became more sensitive and “artistic”. His wife and kids say they like the new personality better.

    Seems like the human mind is an amazing thing, and some of the capabilities only become evident when some other things are sacrificed.

  3. Paul, read the book
    Shine Shine Shine.
    It will give you a really great perspective on the gift and curse of autism. It’s a novel, 2 of the characters have autism.

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