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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?

Cheryl Cohen
Online Community Director
Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute
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.