“People are so afraid of variety that they try to fit everything into a tiny little box with a specific label,” says 16-year-old Rosie King, who is bold, brash and autistic. She wants to know: Why is everyone so worried about being normal? She sounds a clarion call for every kid, parent, teacher and person to celebrate uniqueness. It’s a soaring testament to the potential of human diversity.
Decades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of psychologists with an accepting view, an unexpected pop culture moment and a new clinical test. But to really understand, we have to go back further to an Austrian doctor by the name of Hans Asperger, who published a pioneering paper in 1944. Because it was buried in time, autism has been shrouded in misunderstanding ever since.
Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works -- sharing her ability to "think in pictures," which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.
In this eye-opening talk, Dr. Amy Price Azano speaks up for rural families who live with developmental differences such as autism. Many current therapies for autism require frequent visits to doctors and specialists, with plenty of online research to boot. But the realities of rural life -- remote homes, few doctors, bad internet -- make it too difficult for families to get the treatments and therapies that can help kids thrive. She says: It's time for that to change.
Carina Morillo knew almost nothing about autism when her son Ivan was diagnosed -- only that he didn't speak or respond to words, and that she had to find other ways to connect with him. She shares how she learned to help her son thrive by being curious along with him. (In Spanish with English subtitles)
Faith Jegede tells the moving and funny story of growing up with her two brothers, both autistic -- and both extraordinary. In this talk from the TED Talent Search, she reminds us to pursue a life beyond what is normal.
In this factual talk, geneticist Wendy Chung shares what we know about autism spectrum disorder — for example, that autism has multiple, perhaps interlocking, causes. Looking beyond the worry and concern that can surround a diagnosis, Chung and her team look at what we've learned through studies, treatments and careful listening.
Early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder can improve the lives of everyone affected, but the complex network of causes make it incredibly difficult to predict. At TEDx Peachtree, Ami Klin describes a new early detection method that uses eye-tracking technologies to gauge babies' social engagement skills and reliably measure their risk of developing autism.
Born three and a half months prematurely, Derek Paravicini is blind and has severe autism. But with perfect pitch, innate talent and a lot of practice, he became a concert pianist by the age of 10. Here, his longtime piano teacher, Adam Ockelford, explains his student's unique relationship to music, while Paravicini shows how he has ripped up the "Chopsticks" rulebook.
Can you look at someone's face and know what they're feeling? Does everyone experience happiness, sadness and anxiety the same way? What are emotions anyway?
When stress got to be too much for TED Fellow Sangu Delle, he had to confront his own deep prejudice: that men shouldn't take care of their mental health. In a personal talk, Delle shares how he learned to handle anxiety in a society that's uncomfortable with emotions. As he says: "Being honest about how we feel doesn't make us weak -- it makes us human."
Imagine there's someone standing next to you all the time pointing out every! single! thing! you're doing wrong. This is what millions of anxiety sufferers feel on a daily basis, and it's awful. Anxiety researcher Olivia Remes lays out a roadmap to getting rid of that "someone." It begins, she says, with being kinder to ourselves and to others.