Hi Dr. Wyatt,
I stumbled upon your blog and think you'd be very interested in a doc style project I recently worked on. The Mercedes Benz Tampa dealership currently houses a cafe that is completely staffed by individuals diagnosed with Autism. Artistas Cafe provides a place that allows these baristas constant human interaction that they might typically shy away from, while also breaking down stereotypes and misguided assumptions others might hold.
I invite you to watch the spot, and share with your subscribers. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
A university student asked this in a course I am teaching. The class discussion was covering neurological differences, free will, and the nature versus nurture debate. The textbook for the course includes sidebars on the brain and behavior throughout chapters on ethics and morality. This student was asking a question reflecting media portrayals of autism spectrum disorders, social skills difficulties, and genius.
I did not address this question from a personal perspective in class, but I have when speaking to groups of parents, educators, and caregivers. Some of the reasons these questions arise, as mentioned above, are media portrayals and news coverage of autism. Examples include:
Television shows with gifted characters either identified with or assumed to have autistic traits: Alphas, Big Bang Theory, Bones, Rizzoli and Isles, Touch, and others. Some would include She…