born on a blue day

tuesday 29 may 2012

The title of Daniel Tammet’s famous book, which I’ve recently read for the first time. Daniel not only has Asperger’s, but he is also a mathematical savant. And he is a synesthesiac. This is quite a load of special endowments to land all in one individual. I envy him the synesthesia, to be honest, which I myself only have in an extremely inferior degree. I’m afraid I don’t envy him his mathematical genius, because I’m one of those rather infrequent Aspies who gets both a headache and a stomachache thinking about math. I am an Aspie of the word, and the musical note, and the visual image. But you can keep most types of numbers as far away from me as possible.

While I found the stories of Daniel’s astounding abilities fascinating, as almost anyone would, I found his writing style to be one I’ve seen in many other Aspies: somewhat rigid and step-by-step, and not very good at holding my attention, even when the subject matter is highly interesting. That made it a challenge to actually finish the book, because a writing style that leaves me flat — whether done by an Aspie or an NT — is a thing that will very often make me put down a book and never pick it up again.

Literary criticism notwithstanding, certainly everyone with Asperger’s should read this book. And every savant. And every genius of any kind. Learning how the various types of human brains work presents twists and turns and amazement of all kinds.

Daniel says any number of things that resound loudly inside my Asperger’s self, and perhaps in yours too. Here are a few of them:

 

“Predictability was important to me, a way of feeling in control in a given situation, a way of keeping feelings of anxiety at bay…”

 

“I have always loved animals, from my childhood fascination with ladybirds to avidly watching wildlife programs on television. I think one reason is that animals are often more patient and accepting than many people are.”

 

“… depression… is a common issue for individuals on the autism spectrum.” (referring to his brother, who has Asperger’s and serious depression as well)

 

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read…   Mental hell…  Spite and malice

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.

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