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Autism an advantage, not mental retardation

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 16, 2009

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Tyler Cowen argues that society in general and academia in particular is prejudiced with respect to people with autism and that autism in the academy can be an advantage.

Autism is often described as a disease or a plague, but when it comes to the American college or university, autism is often a competitive advantage rather than a problem to be solved. One reason American academe is so strong is because it mobilizes the strengths and talents of people on the autistic spectrum so effectively. In spite of some of the harmful rhetoric, the on-the-ground reality is that autistics have been very good for colleges, and colleges have been very good for autistics.

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