She also belongs in the “objects of class Pauline Kael” category. Most autistic people are male, but Temple Grandin is the most famous and accomplished autistic person ever.
I actually enjoy her TED talk (I say “actually” because so many of those talks are full of fluff). She is brilliant and funny and has important things to say. She makes good points about how to work with brilliant kids. “Show them interesting stuff.” Not only that, but teach them basic things like showing up on time. She knows what she’s talking about, and she says it well.
I’m not sure what the commonly accepted ratio of people diagnosed with autism is, though “most” came as a slight surprise; it is said though that it’s less easily spotted in girls and women beacause as females they retain a generally enhanced social focus. If that’s a suitable term :-) .
Yup – TG is quite special.
I’d just heard that boys are more likely than girls to have autism. After seeing your comment I looked it up on wikipedia and found this:
Boys are at higher risk for ASD than girls. The sex ratio averages 4.3:1 and is greatly modified by cognitive impairment: it may be close to 2:1 with intellectual disability and more than 5.5:1 without. Several theories about the higher prevalence in males have been investigated, but the cause of the difference is unconfirmed; one theory is that females are underdiagnosed.
So that’s all I know.
Yep, this is pretty much all we know about this particular issue; there are some researchers suggesting that ASD goes largely unnoticed in girls due to certain particularities (i.e., girls tend to focus on slightly different topics, e.g., they might know everything there is to know about a certain boys band, which one might argue is unsurprising, but they may be completely unfamiliar and uninterested in the band’s music — at least this is a convenient anecdote to provide a case in point for gender-related differences in ASD).
By “uninterested” I meant they haven’t heard any/too many of their songs.
“one theory is that females are underdiagnosed”
One also needs to consider the possibility that males are over-diagnosed.
Then there is the question of the diagnostic tools — and the related question of what autism “really” is.
When I was a first year graduate student at Chicago, I lived in a women’s residence where there were two women I was told had autism and had been in Bettelheim’s treatment group as children. One definitely seemed unusual in her speech and other mannerisms; the other seemed perfectly normal.
Thanks AG. Interesting.
I think you have the wrong category; Grandin designs things like (famously) slaughterhouse ramps that keep the animals unaware of what lies ahead while using their proclivities to follow. Her field isn’t autism, which isn’t a field at all but a characteristic, but rather the male-dominated animal processing industry, from feedlots and the like to killing.
I recently watched a movie about her which depicts her work concerning the animal processing industry quite prominently:
Are we talking about autism spectrum disorder or autism in general? The latter is a very broad category, and people (as in this post) routinely put too broad a label like “autistic” for something that’s hard to pin down with a single label.
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