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The Geek Syndrome
Wired Magazine ^ | December 2001 | Steve Silberman

Posted on 12/17/2001 5:35:08 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum

Edited on 06/29/2004 7:08:36 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

Autism - and its milder cousin Asperger's syndrome - is surging among the children of Silicon Valley. Are math-and-tech genes to blame?

Nick is building a universe on his computer. He's already mapped out his first planet: an anvil-shaped world called Denthaim that is home to gnomes and gods, along with a three-gendered race known as kiman. As he tells me about his universe, Nick looks up at the ceiling, humming fragments of a melody over and over. "I'm thinking of making magic a form of quantum physics, but I haven't decided yet, actually," he explains. The music of his speech is pitched high, alternately poetic and pedantic - as if the soul of an Oxford don has been awkwardly reincarnated in the body of a chubby, rosy-cheeked boy from Silicon Valley. Nick is 11 years old.


(Excerpt) Read more at wired.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 12/17/2001 5:35:08 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"They're reproducing at a much higher rate!" LOL!

Nerds,wimps, geeks, introverts... oh wait: Geniuses!

2 posted on 12/17/2001 6:04:58 AM PST by babble-on
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Actually, Pokemon WAS invented by a guy who sounds very ... interesting. I can't recall his name, but he was far fonder of collecting bugs and reverse-engineering Game Boy games than paying attention to school. I read a bio of him in one of the game developer magazines, and talk about being "on the spectrum."
3 posted on 12/17/2001 6:15:52 AM PST by ikanakattara
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To: afraidfortherepublic; dead
Bump
4 posted on 12/17/2001 6:16:40 AM PST by Incorrigible
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Broadening the Autism spectrum the way this article does, is really not that helpful to children and adults who have seriously debilitating Autism.

However, by making it more broad, it becomes a bigger constituency that can lobby for more resources from private foundations and (shudder) the government.

Being the father (and coincidently being an engineer) of a 3 year old Autistic boy, I know first hand the struggles of finding resources.

However, the alternative thinking with respect to Autism certainly doesn't appeal to me either:

When Even the Churches Abandon the Helpless [FreeRepublic activism works]

5 posted on 12/17/2001 6:27:33 AM PST by Incorrigible
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To: Incorrigible
This article makes me afraid to have kids.
6 posted on 12/17/2001 6:29:19 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: Incorrigible
God bless you and your special son.

CC :)

7 posted on 12/17/2001 6:33:41 AM PST by CheneyChick
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
IT takes all kinds of people and many skill sets to create a functioning society. The description of the functional autistic sounds a bit like Einstein. They world would be a poorer place without the geeks.
8 posted on 12/17/2001 6:46:37 AM PST by Leto
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
-This is the best article I've ever read on the subject. Thanks for posting it.
9 posted on 12/17/2001 6:50:29 AM PST by Porath
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To: Incorrigible
Thanks for the ping. Bump for later reading (off to a meeting)
10 posted on 12/17/2001 6:55:30 AM PST by dead
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Execellent post! Thank you.
11 posted on 12/17/2001 7:54:24 AM PST by rejoicing
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To: JMJ333
Still an iconoclast, Siegel questions whether a "cure" for autism could ever be found. "The genetics of autism may turn out to be no simpler to unravel than the genetics of personality. I think what we'll end up with is something more like, 'Mrs. Smith, here are the results of your amnio. There's a 1 in 10 chance that you'll have an autistic child, or the next Bill Gates. Would you like to have an abortion?'"

Neatly tucked away at the end of the article...

12 posted on 12/17/2001 9:21:43 AM PST by SlickWillard
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
There is a big debate in the world of autistism. Some people seem to think that the onset is due to a reaction to vaccinations and it's effect on the some internal system, can't remember which one it is right now, something like the intestines or something. There was a whole debate in Congress also. Dan Burton I think lead the charge.

Hey, don't be afraid of having kids.

13 posted on 12/17/2001 9:39:01 AM PST by Slyfox
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To: SlickWillard
Thanks for the flag--and marked for later reading. :)
14 posted on 12/17/2001 11:00:38 AM PST by JMJ333
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To: SlickWillard
They just don't get it do they? In their narrow God-less world people with any form of disability are in danger of being aborted because they aren't "perfect." Don't you love how they want to determine who gets to live and doesn't? Forget about the worth of each individual! Life has been devalued to the point that humanity has lost its sanctity. Zeig Heil!
15 posted on 12/17/2001 11:13:20 AM PST by JMJ333
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Individuals with autism usually exhibit at least half of the traits listed below. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and vary in intensity from symptom to symptom. In addition, the behavior usually occurs across many different situations and is consistently inappropriate for their age.

alt

Difficulty in mixing with other children O   Insistence on sameness; resists changes in routine O
Inappropriate laughing and giggling   No real fear of dangers
O
Little or no eye contact
  Sustained odd play
O
Apparent insensitivity to pain
O   Echolalia (repeating words or phrases in place of normal language)
O
Prefers to be alone; aloof manner
O   May not want cuddling or act cuddly
Spins objects O   Not responsive to verbal cues; acts as deaf O
Inappropriate attachment to objects O   Difficulty in expressing needs; uses gestures or pointing instead of words O
Noticeable physical overactivity or extreme underactivity   Tantrums - displays extreme distress for no apparent reason
Unresponsive to normal teaching methods   Uneven gross/fine motor skills. (May not want to kick ball but can stack blocks.)

Please note this symptom list is not a substitute for a full-scale diagnostic assessment.

16 posted on 12/17/2001 11:57:51 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: Leto
The description of the functional autistic sounds a bit like Einstein.

Many authorities claim that Einstein had Asbergers Disease (high functioning form of autism). Others dispute this finding.

17 posted on 12/17/2001 1:09:44 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: CheneyChick
Please include my precious grandson in your blessings...
18 posted on 12/17/2001 1:11:31 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
My grandson exhibits 13 of the symptoms described in varying degrees.
19 posted on 12/17/2001 1:14:27 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic
My grandson exhibits 13 of the symptoms described in varying degrees.

To Heck with your grandson! I think I exhibit ALL of them to varying degrees!!!

20 posted on 12/17/2001 1:44:05 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: afraidfortherepublic
I was joking about your grandson. I think sometimes these "syndromes" can get so nebulous that just about everybody is included.
21 posted on 12/17/2001 1:45:45 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: Incorrigible
Of course equating ELCA types with "religious leaders" and ELCA churches with churches in general is a horrid sort of equivocation. ELCA harbors some of the most outstanding leftists in the entire "Christian" spectrum. And yes, I live in the Minneapolis area.
22 posted on 12/17/2001 1:55:40 PM PST by Dataman
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To: afraidfortherepublic
We have a cousin with an autistic son..it is painful..
23 posted on 12/17/2001 2:19:27 PM PST by RnMomof7
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To: afraidfortherepublic
I sure will. CC :)
24 posted on 12/17/2001 5:02:55 PM PST by CheneyChick
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I think sometimes these "syndromes" can get so nebulous that just about everybody is included.

Agreed. That is why I think it is a dangerous precedent to widen the spectrum of the disoirder just to get more support.

25 posted on 12/18/2001 2:19:15 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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