Asperger Syndrome, a Trait in Great Demand

asperger syndrome

Asperger syndrome has been long considered an obstacle in a child’s harmonious social development, but nowadays this disorder on the autistic spectrum has become a trait in great demand, especially when it comes to the labor market. Even though it is still perceived by some as autism, what determined pediatrician Hans Asperger to nickname children suffering from Asperger syndrome “little professors” was the preoccupation they had for a certain subject and the reason why most of those who know how to channel their gift end up being prodigies.

According to Doctor Tony Attwood, a world authority on this disorder described the syndrome as a “different way of thinking” that has transformed Asperger into a trait in great demand, especially in the field of technology, where an eye for details is highly valued. Director Steven Spielberg has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and experts speculate that Bill Gates has traits that could be associated with this disorder.

“Most of the major advances in science and art have been made by people with Asperger’s, from Mozart to Einstein,” Attwood said.

The most notable differences between Asperger syndrome and autism are that the former does not usually involve a speech delay and autism symptoms are generally not so severe. The disorder discovered in 1944 boosts the individuals’ language skills, memory and level of intelligence, therefore narrow special interests can become obsessive , but also brilliant as the world’s prodigies demonstrate.

Although the root of Asperger syndrome remains a mystery, researchers suggest that it might be connected to early developmental changes in brain structure, which could be triggered by “abnormal migration of embryonic cells during fetal development,” as the National Institutes of Health shows. Therefore, the statement according to which prodigies are usually born, not made walks hand in hand with the definition of Asperger syndrome, which is no longer considered simply a disorder, but a trait in great demand in the labor market.

The Thin Line Between Syndrome and Genius

Asperger is a syndrome that still stigmatizes brilliant, yet socially challenged people, but a recent study of eight young prodigies links their genius with the disorder and proves that Asperger could become a trait in great demand, professionally speaking.

As the study shows, all prodigies have exceptional working memories, a characteristic that people with Asperger syndrome master and score high in autistic traits like attention to details. In short, the smartest children that become brilliant professionals could have some genetic trait or learned skill which helps them maintain focus without suffering from other defects that generally accompany autism spectrum disorders.

Today’s Prodigies

Although there are no clear, fundamental findings that link the prodigies to Asperger syndrome, researchers believe that Charles Darwin, Marie Curie, Carl Sagen and many other illustrious people’s geniuses have been touched by this disorder.

Other prodigies who could have this syndrome are Gregory Smith, four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee who could read by the time he was two and experimented life as a college student at the age of ten and Michael Kevin Kearney, the world’s youngest college graduate. Kim Ung-Yong was hired at NASA when he was six years old and Saul Aaron Kripke was a ten-year-old Harvard professor.

Asperger syndrome remains a mysterious disorder that affects social skills and sometimes triggers alienation, but employers who manage people suffering from this condition have stated that they are highly productive and successful, traits in great demand in the labor market.

By Gabriela Motroc

Sources

CNN
The Week
The Sydney Morning Herald
Business Insider
TIME

34 Responses to Asperger Syndrome, a Trait in Great Demand

  1. Col March 28, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    I really liked the article and can believe that people with Asperger’s are increasingly in demand in some business fields; however, many of us (I’m an Aspie) don’t get diagnosed until later in life and often find ourselves in employment where we can’t use our skills to their greatest potential. I find myself in that position and it seems likely there are many others like me.

    I don’t know, if I have any “special interests” or not. I have a strong interest in photography (portraiture, ironically) and Photoshop, which may be seen as a “special interest”. I believe this is the kind of field I should be working in but am finding it very hard to make the transition. There will be many more people with AS, who will struggle to get into the ‘correct’ field of employment.

    If you’re interested, the following video may illustrate what constitutes a “special interest”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWpam32S7Yo

    Reply
  2. Dana March 5, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Aspie’s DO make good fathers! And husbands! My Aspergers husband is devoted to my son and I and he can provide well because he is a genius at architecture. Those who make sweeping gemeralizations are incorrect. And I don’t consider it a disorder. It’s a different way of thinking. Why do NTs get to say what is normal?

    Reply
    • SuperDuperNathansMom March 5, 2014 at 11:25 am

      BINGO!! Great comments Dana! I agree, it’s all in the thinking. If you treat it as a deficit, it will be. We’ve always taught our teenage son that he is differently-ABLED, not disabled. My son is a carbon copy of my husband and my husband is a fantastic father..

      Reply
  3. preston campbell March 5, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Just because Asp isnt in the DSM anymore, doesnt change anything as far as the person ajd what they are experiencing, along with their families. Manic depressive disorder was remived a few years ago and the diagnosis was moved to bipolar spectrum. I am 42 and suffer from Asp syndrome and my 9 year old also has it. I was tested at 10 years old with an IQ of 135 and later at 29 with an IQ of 142. La ti da, i have been married twice, havent heldthe same job for more than 5 years and have no friends other than my kids and my wife. Im glad to see an article celebrating the few brilliant minds with Asp, but there are more without Ado that are just as influential and successful. The struggles behind the scenes are the true stories of aspergers.

    Reply
  4. Grandparent March 5, 2014 at 6:10 am

    I am the grandparent of a child with Asperger’s Syndrome. I can tell you that not everyone with this diagnosis considers it a blessing. Trying to find where your child’s strengths can fit into the world so that they can live a productive, happy life is quite a challenge. I am hopeful that with the love and support of family and the very few friends who understand the condition, our grandchild will be able to live a successful and more importantly a happy life. Conversations like this are very helpful because the more people talk about this the more understanding there will be. Thanks for the opportunity!

    Reply
  5. ChildofAspieMother March 5, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Some Aspie’s may succeed in the work force, but they never make good parents. Please look at when the children with Asperger’s grow up to have families. The core of autism does not allow for listening, comforting or perception of emotions of the children they raise.

    Reply
    • Florence April 2, 2014 at 9:35 am

      I think I’m a damned good parent, thank you! I have raised two successful, compassionate children who now are fantastic parents themselves.

      Reply
    • Col April 2, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      Sorry to hear your experience of growing up.

      Mine was very different, as my father is either undiagnosed AS or in the Broad Autism Phenotype. He is one of the kindest, calmest, most intelligent and understanding people I have ever met.

      Reply
  6. Shari Forsythe March 5, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Autism is a spectrum disorder. I am a mom of a young adult on the spectrum. He does not have any “special” talent as far as we can see (please stop asking us about it). He is a lovely, kind, intelligent young man who struggles daily in every aspect of his life, due to the disorder. I would have liked him to have had the “Bill Gates” variety of ASD–if Bill even has ASD. However, we, like millions of other families, got the much more prevalent “garden variety” type. It has immeasurably shaped his world and ours.

    Reply

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