Autistic Adolescents In The Film Rain Man

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Autistic teens will often get discouraged in school, because the abnormality of their behavior which leads others to believe that they are incapable of learning--if this has not convinced the person themselves. One autistic teen has spoken out about this very behavior at school, “ I thought I was stupid, because I was always getting bad grades, doing dumb stuff, or freaking out in a panic attack”(Understanding Our Gifted and Complex). The person goes on about the details of his school life, even stating that regardless of his high IQ score and his exceptional reading skills that surpassed his upperclassman, his class--including himself--thought of him as a fool. Although this teen is lucky enough to have his family's support during this ordeal…show more content…
In the 1980’s, about 40 years after being classified with the term “ autistic psychopathy”, autism had been identified with the term “ infantile autism” , officially being disassociated with childhood schizophrenia. Some years later, autism was brought to public attention when the movie Rain Man. Rain man is a film about an autistic savant who displays autistic behaviors while performing astoundingly well in specific activities. Though critics states that the film combines savant syndrome--the ability to perform phenomenal talents and abilities with mental disabilities--and ASD--autistic syndrome disorder--together as a single disorder instead of two independent ones, Rain man was the first time the autistic community was represented in the media and…show more content…
Hans Asperger, Austrian pediatrician, also made the remark that those diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome are “ little professors”, because of their extensive vocabulary and their habit to “lecture” about their knowledge (What Genius and Autism have in Common). Those with Asperger's are also known for their great attention to detail, which is one of the desired qualities for success in young prodigies. Parallel to this, there have been other young autistic prodigies, such as a child beginning to speak at just three months old, stopped for eighteen months,then started again around the age of two, and another who became a math whiz and wrote a paper that was accepted to publish into a mathematics journal at just 13-years-old. These accomplishments alone are not enough to uncover the whole spectrum of abilities and talents those with autism have to hold or the potential to hold, but it showcases the opportunities that autistic people may have in the intellectual community.
With all these accomplishments in place, none would have been made into reality if not for the influences of others. Temple Grandin, animal professor at Colorado State University and autism activist, shows a great example of this as she thanks the many people in her life who have help
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