Sunday, February 16, 2003

The Culture of Autism


First appeared in the Boston Globe.

Inward-looking autistics often display remarkable artistic gifts: What do their talents tell us about their minds--and the history of Western Art?

WHAT IF THE Rain Man drew or painted? What if an autistic savant, like the Dustin Hoffman character in the movie of that title, was a talented artist, rather than a human computer who could multiply 4,343 by 1,234 almost as fast you can blink?