by David Rowland, Autism Expert
Michelangelo, Mozart, Darwin, Jefferson, Edison, Tesla, and Einstein were probably autistic. Most geniuses are not autistic, nor vice versa. Autism, however, tends to boost a person’s IQ much higher than it would otherwise be – for a very simple reason: hyperfocus.
Autism comes with the gift of superb mental clarity. Autistic people are great thinkers who pursue their interests passionately, master new skills quickly, and amass encyclopedic knowledge. The inner world of an autistic person is completely intellectual, free from emotional and social distractions. This mental superiority is for a very simple reason: hyperfocus.
Hyperfocus is the primary and defining characteristic of autism that is responsible for all 44 of its observed secondary traits. Hyperfocus is the perpetual state of intense single-minded concentration fixated on one thought pattern at a time, to the exclusion of everything else, including one’s own feelings. Autistic people have the same emotions as everyone else; however, they cannot feel emotion. They have to process their emotions intellectually, after the fact – a process that may take about 24 hours.
In every waking moment the autistic brain is fixated entirely on thoughts, facts, truths, asking questions, solving problems, and making new discoveries. Hyperfocus prevents autistic people from having any emotional or social awareness, the absence of which is both a blessing to their intellectual abilities — and a curse that prevents them from fitting in to society.