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Althalus

Were Einstein and Newton autistic?

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LONDON (Reuters) - Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were geniuses but British scientists believe they may have suffered from Asperger syndrome -- a form of autism.

The condition, first described by Viennese physician Hans Asperger in 1944, is a disorder that causes deficiencies in social and communication skills and obsessive interests.

But it does not affect learning or intellect and many people with AS have exceptional talents or skills.

user posted image View: Full Article | Source: Yahoo News

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Heres a quote by sacks about autism:

Autism was first described in 1944 and is extremely variable in its manifestations. Some autists seem to be profoundly retarded and never develop language. Others, often labeled Asperger's syndrome, have normal or superior IQs. One common theme in autism is an extraordinary lack of social motivation and social intelligence. Most autistic children are unresponsive to people, even to their mothers, and dislike being held or fondled. Unlike normal children, they do not seem to see other members of their species as especially interesting, to be studied and imitated. This may explain why even high-level autists tend to be slow in language development and why, in spite of sometimes high general intelligence, they remain insensitive to social cues. Asperger children seem to be unable to identify with other persons and therefore unable to anticipate how others will react to what they do. Another rare congenital abnormality, Williams' syndrome, presents the antithesis of autism. Children with Williams' syndrome are verbally and socially precocious, they ´often appear exceptionally self-possessed, articulate, and witty, and only gradually is their mental deficit borne in on one.' (Sacks 1995, p. 223)

Asperger cases have always been here, largely unnoticed or overlooked and labelled as loners, eccentrics and nerds. Large numbers of otherwise ordinary people have Asperger symptoms and most of these people have no idea that they have it. In high school, college/university and in a work environment they are labelled nerds and geeks. They often confound or frustrate non-nerds by being inflexible in thought and habits. In fact, a trait typical of full-blown autism is the need for routine and predictability. Unable to read cues that most of us take for granted (eye contact, body language) autistics find the world a frighteningly random place full of unpredictable 'robots'. In Asperger the manifestation of this need for order might be a preoccupation with collecting and categorising things, or with maths and science. This is why many become engineers, software engineers or mathematicians

apparantly those with aspergers have a normal or superior IQ although they lack in social skills, it is quite probable that Einstein and Newton may of suffered with aspergers syndrome, Einstein fits the profile for Asperger's Syndrome. Einstein had to be homeschooled when he was very young because he too had problems fitting in a regular school. Little Einstein was clumsy at sports, had a tendency to be ridiculed by children his age for being odd, had meltdowns when overwhelmed, and just could not handle learning like most school kids. He had so many problems getting a job when he was a young adult because of his disability. Einstein lived in poverty and near starvation even though his theory of Special Relativity, first published when he was 26 years old in 1905, and his famous E=mc^2 equation first published in 1907, profoundly changed the nature of physics. Einstein could only find a low paying clerical job at a patent office from 1902-1909 because no university would hire a bright, yet eccentric young man like Einstein until his theories gained such recognition that he could no longer be ignored.

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hmm. i think i may have this. i hate small talk with a passion. i hardly speak to people, can't take social cues, and am considered eccentric and strange. i went a whole year without speaking once- i mean socially, of course you have to speak sometimes. i just mean, i didnt have a single friend and sat totally alone everyday. i kind of felt like i was in a movie, where everyone avoided me and gave me strange looks.

its not that im unarticulate or unapproachable. its just that i have never known what to say to people when they ask, 'how are you doing'. i mean, im doing the same as yesterday when you asked me the same damn thing. i also tell people im mad when im mad, or sad when im sad. then they act like they didn't really want to know those things- well, you asked smile.gif im always very happy and content, but people think im sad/angry because i have no interest in small chit chat. whenever i do speak, its often something people don't want to talk about and it scares them away. once, i got sick and tired of a job where i was overworked and underpaid, so i scream out, "i am not a robot!" and mumble a bunch of crazy stuff and walk out. in fact, ive done that at all my jobs. i like to ask questions that people dont want to answer. like when i see someone griping about their job, i will ask them what they plan to do with their life.... do they want to do their menial and annoying task forever or do they have some ambition for more out of life? when i hear them whining about not being in the sunshine on a pretty day, i say 'why dont you just go out and have fun?' that definitely freaks people out. some people really like me for being so honest, but the others just sorta avoid me.

on the other hand, my wife and i are best friends. she is a lot like me and totally relates to the way i am. we talk about everything and are very comfortable with each other. we just dont have many friends and i guarantee you wont find us playing cards at the such and such's house on fridays laugh.gif

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I'v said this before, my Cousin Mark has Williams syndrome, he is an expert on all types of aircraft also Elvis Presley. He has no fear of people and considers everyone to be a friend.

On the other hand my friends Daughter is Autistic and does not comunicate with people, she does talk to herself while painting the most extraordinarily detailed artwork, which she likes to do most days she is also an expert on card tricks and seems to enjoy (for want of a better word) amazing people.

I also know someone who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at school. He was picked on for being "odd" and I remember him being very cruel to the schools rabbit he infact he killed it in a particulary nasty way. He was incredibly bright though and would talk to you, but it was a very onesided conversation. He is now working for Exeter University as a researcher and recently got married to one of the lecturers.

So I think it was very likely that they suffered from this, it would also explain their intense quest for knowledge and understanding.

DS I think your just a Nutter!! biggrin.gif

tongue.gifbiggrin.gifwink.gifsmile.gif

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