What We Can Learn From People With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Updated on December 17, 2018
Alexis Wainwright profile image

I am a writer and editor. Sharing information with the world through my writing is my passion and dedication.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term used to describe a group of developmental disorders that include Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), Rett's Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD). ASD is a complex,
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term used to describe a group of developmental disorders that include Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), Rett's Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD). ASD is a complex, | Source

When it comes to succeeding in the business world, it's important to understand our strengths and weaknesses. And despite what you may think, it's okay to have flaws. No one has ever been able to claim they have absolutely no flaws.

But everyone has at the very least one strength that gives them an advantage over others.

Take individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In many cases, people tend to focus only on the perceived weaknesses and disadvantages of ASD, never taking into consideration those with it also have amazing strengths and advantages as well.

For those with ASD, they find it challenging to build routines and relationships that, for the rest of society, is considered functional and fulfilling. However, researchers have recently discovered that those with ASD also benefit from unique strengths often overlooked or unnoticed by society.

In an article posted by Griffith University, Dr. Jessica Paynter from the School of Applied Psychology stated in an interview:

“The other big shift we have seen is addressing the needs of adults on the autism spectrum. As well as focussing on early interventions and young children and adolescents there is now more research on adults on the spectrum including those who may be diagnosed later in life."

“With the rise of autistic advocacy and a strengths-based approach, it’s a more inclusive approach that doesn’t pathologize autism but embraces the different facets of everyone’s lives and unique needs," Paynter continued.

Research has shown that individuals with ASD are gifted with long-term memory skills, thinking in a visual way, independent thinking, Hyperlexia, among many other things.
Research has shown that individuals with ASD are gifted with long-term memory skills, thinking in a visual way, independent thinking, Hyperlexia, among many other things. | Source

Several Research-Based Strengths Connected to ASD

According to the Autism Society of America, Autism Spectrum Disorder is a set of behaviors that impair an individual's ability to communicate and connect with others.

Being that it is a spectrum disorder, ASD affects people in various degrees, so the information I've provided should not be generalized to fit the profile of every individual with ASD.

Psychologists classify ASD as one of many neurodevelopmental disorders. Thus scientists, educators, and therapists from around the globe invest a lot into understanding its cause, how it affects brain function, and in finding treatment options.

Source

Extreme Attention to Detail

It's well-known people with ASD often find planning and decision making difficult. However, this is because their brains recognize patterns more so than those with neurotypical brains.

This explains why many people with ASD who lack reading comprehension also have the ability to read and decipher languages and codes. Therapists, caregivers, and educators are using their unique ability to teach them reading comprehension.

This ability also makes people with ASD "subject experts." They're able to dive deep into a single topic and extract from it a particular meaning or importance, allowing them to learn more about a subject than people without ASD.

Isaac Newton may have been autistic, academics believe.
Isaac Newton may have been autistic, academics believe. | Source

ASD Traits Are Associated With Erudition

In 2015, Cambridge conducted a study of 500,000 individuals involved in STEM (science, technology, and mathematics) professions, and found that those working in those fields possessed more autistic traits than those working in other professions.

And though having a few minor autistic traits pales in comparison to those living with ASD, this research provides some proof that people having ASD traits are genetically prepositioned to work in fields requiring high intellectual prowess.

In another study conducted by Human Heredity, it a link was found between characteristics of child prodigies and children with ASD.

Additional studies into the genetic relationship between child prodigies and children with ASD revealed evidence of a single [point] on chromosome one increases the chances of genius and autism running in the family tree.

Source

Forty Percent Faster Problem Solving Abilities

In June 2009, the University of Montreal and Harvard University conducted a joint study involving people with ASD and those with "healthy," neurotypical brain development.

Researchers found that those participants with ASD solved problems 40 percent faster on average than participants with normal, neurotypical brain development. The reason was that those with ASD possessed more advanced processing and perception abilities, the study found.

Wendelin Slusser | TEDxUCLA

Applying This Research to Our Own Lives

It's hard to believe "idiot" was once the parlance used by educators and doctors to describe someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In the mid-19th century, one could find "idiot" in medical dictionaries and research papers.

However, in 1846, a medical doctor and visionary educator named Samuel Gridley Howe set out to change that when he set out to educate people with ASD. As a result, Howe’s “thundering” advocacy for teaching disabled people paved the way for future research into autism way before the term existed.

But what about individuals who have neurotypical brains? If someone hasn’t been diagnosed with a mental or learning disability, right off the bat they’re expected to perform as well as the next guy. And even though ASD is an extreme example, I think the same approach should be taken by anyone struggling to keep up with the pack.

If you find yourself constantly behind or simply average and never succeed in reaching the next plateau, then it’s time to reevaluate how you view your handicaps, as well as recognize and utilize your unique abilities.

If you’re someone who finds it difficult to learn new things quickly, maybe it’s time to reevaluate which learning style is best for you; after all, you being a slow or bad learner might not be the case at all.

Leaders Should Take a Lesson From ASD Research Findings

Do me a favor and Google “What makes a great leader?” Last time I checked, Google’s search engine showed there were 52 million results linked to that search inquiry.

Now, if you read all the articles listed on the first page of Google, I’m willing to bet you money they all get around to listing the same “top five,” “top seven,” or “top 10” qualities that make a great leader.

Those working in the copywriting industry know that many of those articles are most probably recycled from some other listicle they found posted on another site.

This is why you’ll be hard to find the most important leadership trait listed on any of them.

However, most historians will tell you that the best leaders in history, whether good or evil, understood that not every task is right for just anyone, nor is anyone the right person for every task.

These leaders were able to separate a person’s shortcomings from their strengths, only assigning them to positions or duties that complimented their skillsets and avoided their deficiencies.

This is why Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being."

© 2018 Alexis Wainwright

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Alexis Wainwright profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexis Wainwright 

      3 weeks ago from Bozeman, Montana

      Sure thing! Thanks for the support of my work. It means a lot to me!

    • Alexis Wainwright profile imageAUTHOR

      Alexis Wainwright 

      3 weeks ago from Bozeman, Montana

      Thanks, Ken! I haven't forgotten to respond to your follow. I have been busy lately with kids. :-)

      Anyway, I am glad you find my work interesting!

    • Chuka profile image

      Chuka 

      4 weeks ago

      It is a great article you have here. I have duplicated it to my site for others who might have the interest to read it. I hope it is okay with you for the duplication to my site? https://lindagist.com/category/health/

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 

      4 weeks ago from Florida

      Another great article Alexis, you have noteworthy talent, and happen to pick subjects to write about of which are of interest or pertinent to my own endeavors.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)