The Prodigy's Cousin

The Prodigy's Cousin

The Family Link Between Autism and Extraordinary Talent

Book - 2016
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We all know the autistic genius stereotypes. The absentminded professor with untied shoelaces. The geeky Silicon Valley programmer who writes bulletproof code but can..t.. get a date. But there is another set of (tiny) geniuses whom you would never add to those ranks - child prodigies. We mostly know them as the chatty and charming tykes who liven up daytime TV with violin solos and engaging banter. These kids aren..t.. autistic, and there has never been any kind of scientific connection between autism and prodigy. Until now. Over the course of her career, psychologist Joanne Ruthsatz has quietly assembled the largest-ever research sample of these children. Their accomplishments are epic. One could reproduce radio tunes by ear on a toy guitar at two years old. Another was a thirteen-year-old cooking sensation. And what Ruthsatz..s.. investigation revealed is nothing short of astonishing. Though the prodigies aren..t.. autistic, many have autistic family members. Each prodigy has an extraordinary memory and a keen eye for detail- well-known but often-overlooked strengths associated with autism. Ruthsatz and her daughter and coauthor, Kimberly Stephens, now propose a startling possibility: What if the abilities of child prodigies stem from a genetic link with autism?
Publisher: London, Rider Books,, 2016.
ISBN: 9781846045257
Characteristics: xii, 273 pages ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Stephens, Kimberly - Author


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Jun 05, 2017

********* 100-Starred Review ********
This book has most egregiously been referred to as a // pop psychology \\ book - - to be expected in today's atmosphere when a Real Scientist, doing Real Science, would have to stand out as a genuine maverick!
This is both an extraordinarily well researched and extraordinarily well written book! A prodigious achievement!
What the scientist, Dr. Ruthsatz, has done is to seek out the connection between autism and prodigy, and as an aside of my own, the occurrences of childhood brain-affecting infections have appeared historically among geniuses across the spectrum [think Nicola Tesla] and again we see such appearances among the subjects found and studied. She asked the Next Question - - something little done today, whether in scientific investigation or other types!
[It possibly appears that in some if not many cases, child prodigies appear, then infection followed by autism appears, then hopefully, with extreme effort on behalf of the parents, the child // grows \\ out of said autism, or given the natural neuroplasticity of the human brain, perhaps the infection, or damage done by said infection, is finally remedied???? Or perhaps a natural evolutionary stage????]
[General FYI: During the 1980s there was some truly fascinating research being done on viruses and their effects on human evolution, i.e., transfer and transmission of DNA by them, et cetera. Most unfortunately, Reagan in his bizarre religious fervor killed that government-financed research.]

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