[extropy-chat] Fwd: CNN features amazing user with autism

Anne Corwin sparkle_robot at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 25 01:53:06 UTC 2007

Ability fluctuation in autism is extremely common, and yet quite poorly understood by many -- a lot of it has to do with how the brain reorganizes and re-optimizes itself as the person grows up, as well as the experiences a person has. Quite a bit of brain change takes place during puberty, for example.  Amanda and I actually had very similar communication issues as children (as well as a mutual history of hyperlexia) -- there's a difference between being able to form speech sounds and actually being able to articulate what you want to articulate and reflect what your actual thoughts are.  

I am definitely far more fluent in writing than I am when speaking, though unlike Amanda I can form purposeful speech more of the time, though I find it far more exhausting than writing, and it is one of the first things to break down when I become overloaded by the environment somehow (note that I don't consider this to be a horrible thing -- all of us have strengths and weaknesses, and you couldn't possibly pay me enough to even begin to wish I was neurotypical).  

As a child, I did not have a speech delay, per se, and I had a fairly large vocabulary, but did not know how to (for instance) explain when I didn't feel well, and would use a lot of scripted language whether it was actually appropriate to the situation or not.  And yet all the while, nobody had much of a clue that I had issues with spoken language, since I was technically producing words.  I'm thinking that Amanda had something very similar going on, though her eventual speech loss was more dramatic.

- Anne

Ben Goertzel <ben at goertzel.org> wrote: 
BTW, Amanda Baggs went to the same college as me (and my son), Simon's 
Rock College

SR alums I know who attended SR at the same time as her, recall that she 
spoke and interacted quite comprehensibly and fluently in normal 
English, in her college years...

Apparently her ability to communicate in a normal way, and her comfort 
with doing so, have fluctuated significantly during her life,

-- Ben G

Don't get soaked.  Take a quick peak at the forecast 
 with theYahoo! Search weather shortcut.
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