Autism is very commonly associated with low functioning and Learning Disability. This is a false conception of the condition. High Functioning Autism or Asperger’s syndrome can occur in persons with very high I.Q. and indeed ability of genius proportions. The following people demonstrate this high ability as well as High Functioning Autism:
Kurt Godel was very much a loner and a genius. He was fascinated by mathematics and contributed greatly to it. He was a linguist and an autodictat. Even in junior school he was fascinated by mathematics and physics. He was socially immature and had severe difficulties in social relationships. He had non-verbal behaviour difficulties and had a tremendous capacity for focus on mathematical problems. He was extremely naïve. He suffered from severe depression. His verbal contributions are characterised by extreme brevity. He was also quite paranoid and fearful of emissions from refrigerators.
Mendel was a genius who was also very much plodding in his work, hard working, and completely single minded. He proposed laws of inheritance that ultimately became the underpinning of the science of genetics. He had severe difficulties in social relationships. He was extremely shy. In front of a class he was an extremely poor teacher. In teaching he never was fully certified and was always a substitute teacher. He was a man of absolute routines. He regarded his plants as his children. He was a monk who became rather paranoid and saw his fellow monks as traitors.
Hans Christian Andersen was a great storyteller. He was socially immature. He had very significant social interactional problems. He was very much a loner. He never married. He was a great writer of fairytales and showed enormous creativity in this area. He read an enormous amount of books. He was bullied and called names at school. He was very much an outsider. He spoke with a high pitch tone of voice. He was extremely obsessive. He was very ritualistic in his behaviour. He was very controlling and at meal times his food had always to be served first. He suffered very much from depression throughout his life. He had identity diffusion. He wrote endlessly and compulsively.
Archimedes was a great Greek mathematician and inventor. He was a loner. He was mechanically and mathematically minded. He hyper focussed on his researches. His interests were extremely narrow. He would forget to eat his meals. He was regarded as extremely eccentric.
Charles Lindburg was a great aviator. He was a loner as a child. He was painfully shy in social relationships, he was naïve in accepting an award from Hitler. He liked solitude. He was extremely logical and obsessed with aviation. He also worked on the issues in high altitude flying and on a pump that blood could be pumped if the heart was being operated upon. This work was carried out at the Rockerfeller Institute. His greatest achievement and one that he was well suited for was in flying solo across the Atlantic over Ireland to Paris. The link between psychiatric disorders and genius has often been made and these are further examples of that link.