Asperger's Syndrome and High Achievement: Some Very Remarkable People

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Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Nov 17, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages

This book describes the lives and personalities of 20 remarkable people from the past, who may well have had Asperger's syndrome (AS). Famous in the fields of art, literature and science, among others, they illustrate vividly how highly intelligent people are able to surmount some of the problems that AS causes and achieve so much - more than might have been possible without it.'

- Human Givens

'The aim of this book is to raise the self-esteem of individuals with AS. It certainly illustrates how much the world owes to people with AS. It would be relevant to anyone with an interest in AS.'

- Good Autism Practice

'A highly readable text.'

- Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation

'Definitely worth a read.'

- The National Association for Gifted Children

'James makes a convincing case for including each on the list. He also helps to explain what some dismiss as "artistic creativity" as actually a logical aspect of AS.'

- Book News

This fascinating collection identifies famous figures from the past whose behaviour suggests they may have had autism, a disorder that was not defined until the mid-20th century. James looks at the lives of 20 individuals - scientists, artists, politicians and philosophers - examining in detail their interests, successes, indifferences and shortcomings.

Among the profiles are those of mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell, who wondered in his autobiography how he managed to hurt the people around him quite without meaning to; biologist Alfred Kinsey, who excelled in academia but was ill at ease in social situations; and the writer Patricia Highsmith, who had very definite likes (fountain pens and absence of noise) and dislikes (television and four-course meals). From Albert Einstein to Philip of Spain, these intriguing individuals all showed clear evidence of autistic traits.

This book will be of interest to general readers and anyone with a personal or professional interest in autism.


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1 Michelangelo Buonarroti 14751564
2 Philip of Spain 15271598
3 Isaac Newton 16421727
4 Jonathan Swift 16671745
5 John Howard c 17261790
6 Henry Cavendish 17311810
7 Thomas Jefferson 17431826
8 Vincent van Gogh 18531890
13 Ramanujan 18871920
14 Ludwig Wittgenstein 18891951
15 Alfred Kinsey 18941956
16 SimoneWeil 19091943
17 Alan Turing 19121954
18 Patricia Highsmith 19211995
19 AndyWarhol 19281987
20 Glenn Gould 19321982

9 Eric Satie 18661925
10 Bertrand Russell 18721970
11 Albert Einstein 18791955
12 Béla Bartók 18811945

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Page 36 - All this was in the two plague years of 1665 and 1666, for in those days I was in the prime of my age for invention, and minded mathematics and philosophy more than at any time since.
Page 37 - ... at spring and fall of the leaf, at which times he used to employ about six weeks in his elaboratory, the fire scarcely going out either night or day; he sitting up one night and I another, till he had finished his chemical experiments, in the performance of which he was the most accurate, strict, exact.
Page 37 - He kept neither dog nor cat in his chamber, which made well for the old woman his bedmaker, she faring much the better for it, for in a morning she has sometimes found both dinner and supper scarcely tasted of, which the old woman has very pleasantly and mumpingly gone away with.

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About the author (2005)

Ioan James is Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford University, UK.

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