Marta Wiszniowska-Majchrzyk, Zdzisław Majchrzyk


Autism and autism related disorders were diagnosed at the beginning of the 20th century, yet the symptomsseem to have been with humanity from time immemorial. Recent studies in autism and Asperger’ssyndrome go in two directions; retrospective that is diagnosing famous figures from the past, and researching present day epidemic spread. In spite of new diagnostic methods, the disorder still remains difficult to define, assess and treat.Basing on the already diagnosed cases, the authors put point to another dimension, so far neglected, namelythe role of culture, cultural background, and cognitive-informative message to help understand and diagnose the impairment. Several reported casesreveal either splinter skills or exceptional talents,both in traditional and new computer culture. In our age of virtual and real realities intermingling, possibly autistic and exceptionally talented individualshave the answer to the question: how one can perceive and reflect upon the world around us.Finally, our set views on what norm and pathology are have to be constantly revised.

Keyword(s): autism, Asperger’s syndrome, splinter skills, talents, retrospective diagnoses of autism, cultural definitions of autism, computer culture, cultural component in diagnosing autism.
DOI: 10.5200/sm-hs.2014.012
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