Do All Geniuses Have Aspergers Syndrome?
January 28, 2020
Neurodevelopmental conditions have had a lot more attention brought to them over recent years, with more parents and doctors being able to recognize symptoms, these conditions are being much more easily diagnosed and managed. There is a whole wealth of information surrounding these types of conditions, one of which is known as Asperger’s Syndrome.
Asperger’s is a form of autism, which is a neurodevelopmental condition where patients can be seen to be socially awkward, have a very condensed range of interests and may struggle with speech. It is well known that many of the symptoms featured on the autism spectrum can also be seen in people without any of the conditions of the spectrum, therefore making it difficult to know whether or not the symptoms are a sign of the condition or just pure coincidence.
One of the common ideas surrounding Asperger’s is that it might be an indicator of someone who is in fact, a genius. But is there any truth to this notion?
What symptoms are prevalent in Asperger’s?
Before looking at whether or not the condition is related to genius, it is important to understand the symptoms one might expect to see in a patient with Asperger’s. Many people have questioned themselves, wondering do I have Asperger’s? One simple way to determine the likelihood of such a condition is to take an online test that features a simple multiple-choice questionnaire.
Some of the symptoms which can be observed in someone with Asperger’s are as follows;
- Social awareness is lacking
- Friendships and socializing are not a priority with patients preferring sole activities.
- Patients tend to be unable to understand and empathize with the thoughts and feelings of other people.
- Avoidance of eye contact or too much eye contact.
- Facial expressions are not shown by the patient.
- Struggle to respect personal space and boundaries through a lack of understanding.
- Very routine dependant, causing significant discomfort, anxiety, and anger when a routine is disrupted.
- Repetitive gestures or movements.
- Oversensitive to sensory stimulation.
- Obsessive interest in any given topic, usually this interest consumes a lot of the patients’ time and focus, often conversing only about this interest and showing little regard for any other topic of conversation.
- Issues surrounding the speech, such as exaggerated speech, disjointed or jumbled sentences.
The link between Asperger’s and genius
When we look back over history, we see many notable people who have been called a genius who is now also suspected to have had Asperger’s. There cannot be any concrete evidence surrounding this since these people are deceased. The thought behind this is that Asperger’s causes almost a ‘rewiring’ within the brain, leading to some of the symptoms which are seen, geniuses are also known to have a slightly different. This has been proven in studies where the ‘genius’ section of the brain has been observed to be larger than that of a normal patient.
Where autism patients are noted to have less age-appropriate interests and problems with speech development, those with Asperger’s are not. Speech may be jumbled, but the range of vocabulary displayed by a person with Asperger’s is markedly superior to someone with neither condition. Could this be another indicator of genius?
The detail into which Asperger’s sufferers engage with their interests can be astonishing, these people are known to develop extreme and impressive knowledge around any particular area of interest, something which has also been observed in people such as Einstein and Newton, who were, undeniably geniuses.
The condition is also known to contribute to a very vivid and creative imagination within patients, another sign that could point towards the condition being linked with extremely high intellect.
The link between genius and Asperger’s is mainly noted due to the highlighted interest in one specific subject when looking back at those who were suspected to have Asperger’s as well as being a genius, it is clear that their genius rested usually within one specific subject. However, there is yet to be any conclusive scientific evidence to officially link the two.