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Famous People with Autism Spectrum Disorders Team MARKK April 8, 2008
Alonzo Clemons • Autistic American Clay Sculptor • At the age of three he suffered brain damage from a fall. • Premier art exhibit in 1986 • “…make such a name for himself in just three short years after entering the art world. Normally it takes 10 to 12 years.” Pam Driscoll owner of Driscoll Art Gallery in Aspen, CO. • http://www.exn.ca/news/video/exn2004/10/06/exn20041006-savant.asx
Alonzo currently lives in Boulder, CO • Lives independently • does have an assistant • Works part-time at the YMCA • Lifts weights and has competed in the special Olympics.
Matt Savage • Autistic Jazz prodigy • Born 1992 in Sudbury, MA • Was reading by 18 months of age • Diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder at age 3 • Self taught piano at age 6 • Also has hyperlexia and perfect pitch
Studied classical music before discovering Jazz • Continues to study music and the New England Conservatory of Music • http://www.npr.org/templates/dmg/dmg.php?prgCode=ATC&showDate=24-Apr-2002&segNum=9&NPRMediaPref=RM
Temple Grandin is an associate professor at Colorado State University.At her suggestion, electric prods have been replaced with plastic paddles. Workers are trained not to shout at the cattle, and plants are regularly audited to determine how well they're reducing animal stress.Today, more than half the cattle in the United States and Canada are processed through cattle handling systems that she has designed.
Dr. Grandin is also autistic – and she believes that animals and autistics perceive the world in similar ways. "I don't like seeing people abuse cattle. Cattle feel fear, cattle feel pain. We owe animals a decent life." Temple Grandin
Often those with autism/Asperger's suffer socially and professionally because social cues and perceptions hinder their lives. This enlightening and thought-provoking book by two of the leading minds in the field, who themselves have been diagnosed with autism, educates both those on the spectrum and their caregivers. Certain to become a classic, Temple and Sean lead you through their mistakes socially and ways they found to improve their lives.
Jenny McCarthyactress/model/author Actress Scary Movie MTV’s Singled Out hostess Model Playmate of the Year Author Belly Laughs Baby Laughs
“I’m sorry your son has Autism” • Evan’s Seizures misdiagnosed • Febrile seizures • Epileptic • Finally, after repeated seizing Evan sees a neurologist who diagnoses him as Autistic.
“I honestly thought and told people he was going to be a mechanic when he grew up. He loved springs and shapes and gears. I didn’t see anything wrong with it.” • Playtime (p.60) • instead of playing in the toy areas at the mall, Evan wanted to watch the escalators. • Speech Development (p.61) • Memorize and repeat • Could say a few words “juice”“cookie” • Child interaction (p.63) • Oblivious of other children • Evan didn’t acknowledge bullies on the playground
Evan’s RecoveryJenny gets a Ph.D. in “Google Research” • Diet • Casein and Gluten-free foods (dairy and wheat free) • Vitamin Supplements • B12 shots • Therapy Team • Applied behavior analysis therapy • Speech therapist, occupational therapist, recreational therapist, social worker, nurse • Medications • Diflucan • Many other medications that she couldn’t mention
Evan Today http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ba5B-Bgt8g&feature=related Evan still repeats words a few times and flaps his arms but is “no longer stuck in the world of autism”.
Majority of savants are born savants, but for some savants, status comes much later
Savants Two types of savants: Autistic savants Acquired savants- when a person gains savant status in later life due to a brain injury.
Tommy McHugh • Street fighter • Left school at the age of 14 • Ex- convict (had stints in jail for violent offences) • Heroine addict • No apparent artistic inclination • Subarachnoid haemorrhage in 2001 due to a ruptured aneurysm • Brain haemorrhage made him into an obsessive artist…
Tommy McHugh • He wrote poems excessively after the surgery • According to McHugh, “My mind is like a volcano exploding with bubbles and each bubble contains a million other bubbles, and then another million bubbles of unstoppable creative ideas.” • No MRI can be done
Orlando Serrell • Born in 1969 in Virginia • Typical Americn boy • August 17, 1979, Orlando was struck by a baseball him on his head • Continued to play • His head continued to hurt • The headache ended, but ..
Orlando Serrell • Orlando soon noticed an uncanny ability to perform calendrical calculations of baffling complexity • He can recall the weather, where he was, and what he was doing for every day since the accident • According to MRI, Orlando is not using memory when he calculates calendrical calculations http://www.fmri.org/disc.htm
Selected References • McCarthy, J. (2007). Louder than words: a mother’s journey in healing autism. NY, NY: Dutton • http://www.grandin.com/ • http://www.templegrandin.com/ • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savant_syndrome • http://www.orlandoserrell.com/about.htm • http://www.mlythgoe.com/tommy/Lythgoe%20Nature%202004.pdf