Bede is very intelligent (self-taught reader by age 2, hacks our passwords frequently) very autistic (unable to carry on a conversation, refuses to wear clothes) and very disabled (must have 1:1 aide in public and constant supervision at home.) He is quite the puzzle, to use a tired metaphor. So it was with great interest that I read this in the Telegraph: Autism is caused by a ‘supercharged’ mind.
Children who develop autism have “supercharged” brains that are so clever and sensitive that they make everyday experiences utterly overwhelming, new research claims.
“Our hypothesis is that autistic people perceive, feel and remember too much,” Kamila Markram told the New Scientist.
Faced with this “intense world” , autistic infants withdraw, with serious consequences for their social and linguistic development, she added.
Repetitive behaviours such as rocking and head-banging, meanwhile, can be seen as an attempt to bring order and predictability to a “blaring world”.
Most of the theories surrounding autism involve the idea of an underperforming brain but the Markrams believe the opposite is true with the brain being “supercharged”.
Their research, which included studying their own son who is borderline autistic, is backed up by one of the most replicated findings in autism which is abnormal brain growth.
At birth the brains of autistic children are small or normal sized, but grow unusually quickly.
By age two to three, when symptoms of autism occur, their brain volume is roughly 10 per cent larger than average.
Sounds right to me.
Finger-flick to Autism Vox.