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Obsessions and special interests and autism

When Henny Kupferstein discovered she had perfect pitch, she wondered if it was because of her autism. Researchers are wondering that, too. A growing number of studies have found that people with autism are more likely to have this rare musical gift – or at least some version of it – than the general population. What's behind this remarkable ability?

Author: 
Cheryl Cohen
Online Community Director
Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Posted: 
May 22, 2014

Over the years, I’ve run into many absorbing, amazing, heartbreaking, and life-affirming films involving individuals with autism, their families, and the world at large. Included in my favorites are the films by Dan Habib. Don't miss these short films.

Some of a child’s early symptoms of autism may be among the most puzzling to parents: hand-flapping, rocking, lining up toys, or finding the whirling blades of a fan more interesting than the world around him. Psychologists call these repetitive and restricted behaviors. Guidelines for diagnosing autism now place a greater emphasis on these behaviors.

What do a quirky lawyer, a child lost during a museum field trip, a family who needs a new home, a boy who witnessed the murder of his parents, a doctor who bonds with a mysterious young patient, an 18 year old woman dealing with the sensory chaos of New York City, and an out-of-control toddler have in common? All were featured in prime time television programs in 2006, fictional or reality-based, which centered on a character with Asperger's Syndrome.

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