View Full Version : Stephen Wiltshire


crystal8080
08-09-12, 02:12 PM
I saw this this morning, and my first thought was whoa that's pretty cool.

But then I thought wait, is this good or bad? Putting something like this out there could be good for the optics on autism, showing mainstream society that autistic people can be extremely talented, and I think that may have been the intent.

But it could also be bad, pigeon-holing people with autism, not showing the diversity within a group of people.

I mean they could have just said hey look at what this guy did. It was look at what this guy with autism did?

What are your thoughts? I am interested to know what people with autism think about it.

TygerSan
08-09-12, 03:45 PM
Stephen Wiltshire has been in the limelight ever since he was 5 years old. I think his situation does wonders in showing what someone with a cognitive disability can do if they're supported and nurtured and respected for who they are not treated as broken and discarded.

From what I've seen of him, he doesn't speak much but he says a lot.

As for the label, it is always present. What he does is amazing despite as well as because of who he is and what his brain is like.

CheekyMonkey
08-09-12, 07:41 PM
Savants always catch attention. It does cause discourse in the autism community, since savants represent an incredibly small part of the spectrum. Anytime there is a spectrum, there will be misrepresentation for the group as a whole. I often see parents of more "severe" kids commenting on how insulting it is for others to call autism a gift. I can see both sides, but stay out of it.

crystal8080
08-09-12, 11:13 PM
Fascinating.

Ive never heard the word savant before. Had to look it up. Of course I find this kind of talent intriguing, but I am more interested in how it affects all the other people within the spectrum.

CheekyMonkey
08-09-12, 11:24 PM
Fascinating.

Ive never heard the word savant before. Had to look it up. Of course I find this kind of talent intriguing, but I am more interested in how it affects all the other people within the spectrum.

The "Intense World Theory" of autism hypothesizes that all autistic individuals have potential for savantism.

TygerSan
08-11-12, 11:01 AM
Savantism arises more often in a brain that doesn't develop normally. Interestingly, there are cases of people with a specific form of dementia (froto-temporal dementia) who show increased drawing and spatial ability early in the illness. Basically, you remove inhibition that makes us able to do stuff one way, and other latent pathways emerge, sometimes creating fascinating islets of ability.

Daniel Tammet is a savant who has memorised pi to over 20000 digits and can learn languages quickly and easily. He's also very verbally adept, so researchers love to talk to him b/c he can provide some insight into how he does certain things moreso than others (i.e. he's a profound synaesthete which is one of the reasons why he was able to memorise so many digits of pi).

I should also say that what I find most fascinating about Stephen is that his art has really developed over the years, and he's been taught how to paint and use other media as well. So yes, he is a Savant, but he's really developed beyond that as an artist.

Crazygirl79
11-21-12, 08:13 AM
I remember a segment on him on the Australian version of 60 Minutes when I was a preteen and I thought he was amazing...

Selena