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>> PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN.
[ APPLAUSE ]
>> WELL IT'S GOOD TO BE HERE TODAY.
ONCE I PRESS THIS BUTTON AND MY SLIDES COME ON.
IF THEY WORK, THAT'S GOOD.
ONE OF THE THINGS CAN'T EMPHASIZE ENOUGH
WITH THE YOUNG AUTISTIC CHILDREN IS EARLY
EDUCATIONAL INTERVENTION.
THAT'S JUST ABSOLUTELY SUPER IMPORTANT.
I WAS 60 JUST THIS SUMMER AND BY THE TIME I WAS TWO
AND A HALF YEARS OLD, I WAS IN A VERY GOOD PROGRAM.
I'M-- MOTHER TOOK ME INTO A, YOU KNOW, THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
IN BOSTON AND A DOCTOR NAMED BRONSON CROTHERS REFERRED HER
TO A SPEECH-- TO SPEECH THERAPIST THAT WORKED
OUT OF THEIR HOME AND THEY WERE JUST THOSE A LITTLE EXPERIENCED
TEACHERS THAT KNEW HOW TO WORK WITH KIDS.
AND THEN MY MOTHER HIRED A NANNY WHO SPENT HOURS AND HOURS
AND HOURS DOING TURN TAKING GAMES WITH ME AND MY SISTER.
WE'VE GOT TO BE TEACHING THESE KIDS TURN TAKING.
SEE ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT BEING A CHILD
IN THE '50S IS IT TURNED--
EVERYTHING YOU DID WITH ANOTHER KID
THAT WAS FUN INVOLVED TURN TAKING.
TURN TAKING IS REALLY IMPORTANT.
WE GOT TO TEACH THAT REALLY, REALLY EARLY.
AS A TEACHER, I'M KIND OF GRABBING THE KID'S CHIN.
MY TEACHER DID THAT WITH ME.
SHE SAID, COME ON, JUST PAY ATTENTION.
SOME AUTISTIC KIDS YOU CAN KIND OF PULL THEM OUT OF IT
BUT THERE'S OTHERS WHERE IF YOU DO THIS, YOU'RE GOING
TO DRIVE THEM INTO SENSORY OVERLOAD.
AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST MOST NEGLECTED AREAS IS THE
SENSORY PROBLEMS.
WHEN A LOUD-- SCHOOL BELL WENT OFF, IT HURT MY EARS.
THIS IS A PICTURE OF A YOUNG MAN SENT TO ME IT'S ACTUALLY
FROM A BOOK CALLED LITTLE RAINMAN.
IT'S-- A YOUNG AUTISTIC BOY DREW THIS
AND SHOWING HOW LOUD SOUNDS HURT HIS EARS.
NOW THE THING IS, IS THESE SENSORY PROBLEMS ARE
VERY VARIABLE.
ONE KID MIGHT LIKE THE SOUND OF RUNNING WATER,
ANOTHER KID IS GOING TO--
WILL GET AWAY FROM THE SOUND OF RUNNING WATER.
NOW, HIGH-PITCHED INTERMITTENT SOUNDS,
THINGS LIKE SMOKE ALARMS, THOSE TEND TO BE THE WORST THINGS
BUT THESE ARE REALLY REAL PROBLEMS.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU HAVE A CHILD AND YOU TAKE THEM
IN AT A BIG SUPERMARKET OR A WALMART OR SOME PLACE LIKE THAT,
HE JUST HAS A MELTDOWN AND START SCREAMING,
THAT IS SENSORY OVERLOAD.
SO YOU KIND OF WANT TO FIGURE OUT, YOU KNOW,
IF YOUR CHILD GOT A LOT OF SENSORY PROBLEMS, WHAT HAPPENS
AT WALMART OR THE BIG SUPERMARKETS
OR THE SHOPPING MALL.
AND IF EVERY ONE OF THOSE TRIPS ARE SCREAMING FIT YOU'VE GOT
REALLY BIG SENSORY PROBLEMS
BECAUSE SOME KIDS CAN SEE THE FLUORESCENT LIGHTS FLICKER ON
AND OFF LIKE BEING IN A DISCOTHEQUE.
IT JUST DRIVES THEM CRAZY.
OR THEY GO DOWN THE DETERGENT AISLE AND THEY JUST WANT TO GAG
BECAUSE IT'S JUST TOO MUCH SMELLS.
TOO MUCH IS OVERWHELMING STIMULATION.
NOW THE THING IS, ONE OF THE THINGS THEY WANT
TO TEST ME BEFORE IS TO MAKE SURE THAT I WASN'T DEAF.
SO I GOT A HEARING TEST AND I WASN'T DEAF.
BUT THE PROBLEM IS AUDITORY THRESHOLD TELLS YOU NOTHING
ABOUT AUDITORY DETAIL.
AUDITORY DETAIL IS THE ABILITY TO HEAR HARD CONSONANT SOUNDS.
LIKE IF I SAID CAT OR WAS IT RAT OR BAT, YOU KNOW,
DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN CAT, RAT AND BAT,
AND MY SPEECH TEACHER WOULD ENUNCIATE THOSE SOUNDS.
SHE'LL HOLD UP A CUP AND SAY, CUP.
IN FACT, SHE USED A LOT OF KIND OF ABA TYPE OF THINGS.
AND THE THING THAT'S MOST IMPORTANT THAT I'M GOING
TO BE ADAMANT ABOUT IS THAT REAL LITTLE KIDS THE TWO,
THREE AND FOUR YEAR OLDS, THEY NEED 20 HOURS OF ONE-TO-ONE
WITH A REALLY GREAT TEACHER.
YOU KNOW, AND WHO THAT GOOD TEACHER IS?
THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.
NOW, THIS IS WORK DONE BY AMI KLIN AND HE HAD WITH ASPERGERS
AND PEOPLE WITH, YOU KNOW,
HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM WATCH WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?
WELL, I HAVE TO SAY THAT'S A BORING SOCIAL MOVIE
AND I WOULDN'T BE THAT INTERESTED IN.
I DON'T EVEN THINK I COULD KEEP THE HEADPHONES ON A PLANE,
YOU KNOW, FOR THIS ONE.
AND LOOK AT HOW MANY TIMES A NORMAL PERSON LOOKS AT THE EYES.
I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT PEOPLE HAD ALL THESE SECRET EYE SIGNALS
UNTIL I READ A BOOK ABOUT IT WHEN I WAS 50 YEARS OLD.
BUT THE OTHER THING IS MOST PEOPLE EXPLAIN THIS PICTURE JUST
FROM A SOCIAL STANDPOINT.
THERE'S ALSO A BIG PROBLEM WITH ATTENTION SHIFTING.
LOOK AT HOW MANY TIMES THE NORMAL PERSON LOOKS BACK
AND FORTH, HOW QUICKLY THEY CAN SHIFT ATTENTION BACK
AND FORTH COMPARED TO THE RED LINE
WHICH IS THE AUTISTIC PERSON.
AND THE AUTISTIC PERSON IS LOOKING AT THE MOUTH
BECAUSE YOU GOT TO REMEMBER,
THEY DO NOT HEAR AUDITORY DETAIL VERY WELL.
SOME OF THESE KIDS ARE LIKE A REALLY BAD CELLPHONE CONNECTION
AND WHEN THEY GET TIRED, IT'S GOING TO GET WORSE.
YOU KNOW, HOW YOU YELL ON THE PHONE, YOU'RE GOING, OH,
IT'S BREAKING UP, IT'S BREAKING UP.
THAT'S THE WAY SOME OF THESE KIDS' HEARING IS.
YOU KNOW, IT'S LIKE-- AND IT'S GOING TO VARY AS TO HOW MUCH
OF THE SIGNAL GET THROUGH.
ONE OF THE PLACES WHERE THERE NEEDS TO BE A LOT
OF RESEARCH DONE IS IN THE SENSORY PROBLEMS.
I'M KIND OF REALLY [INAUDIBLE] SICK OF ALL THE THEORY
OF MIND RESEARCH BECAUSE THESE SENSORY PROBLEMS CAN BE
SO DEBILITATING.
HOW CAN YOU SOCIALIZE
IF YOU CAN'T EVEN STAND BEING IN A RESTAURANT.
YOU CAN STAND BEING AT A SORTING--
SPORTING EVENT OR OTHER PLACES,
A NOISY RESTAURANT, PLACES LIKE THAT.
NOW, SOME PEOPLE HAVE VISUAL PROBLEMS.
I DIDN'T HAVE THEM.
YOU KNOW, WHERE THE IMAGE WILL BREAK UP LIKE A MOSAIC.
DONNA WILLIAMS DESCRIBED THIS IN SOME OF HER BOOKS.
AND OFTENTIMES PEOPLE WILL HAVE THESE PROBLEMS--
THEY'LL HAVE PROBLEMS WITH DEPTH PERCEPTION.
OK. HOW CAN YOU TELL THE KID'S GOT VISUAL PROCESSING PROBLEMS?
OBVIOUSLY, IF HE'S GOT SOUND SENSITIVITY,
HE'S GOING TO COVER HIS EARS.
THEY DO A LOT OF FLICKING AROUND THE EYES.
THAT'S A TIP-OFF.
THEY'LL TEND TO TILT THEIR HEAD BECAUSE THEY CAN SEE BETTER
IF THEY LOOK OUT THE CORNER OF THEIR EYE.
OFTENTIMES, THEY HATE ESCALATORS BECAUSE THEY CAN'T TELL
WHEN TO GET ON AND OFF THE ESCALATOR.
FLUORESCENT LIGHTS CAN BE A BIG PROBLEM.
IN FACT, WHEN THEY LOOK AT THINGS, THEY MAY HAVE
TO MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR IN COLLEGE GETTING AWAY
FROM FLUORESCENT LIGHTS IS PROBABLY BIG NUMBER ONE.
PROBLEMS WITH CATCHING A BALL AND YOU GO IN
AND YOU DO EYE EXAMS AND THEY'RE GOING TO BE NORMAL.
THEIR PROBLEM IS INSIDE THE BRAIN.
DON'T GET HUNG UP ON DIAGNOSTIC CATEGORIES.
THESE DIAGNOSTIC CATEGORIES ARE NOT PRECISE.
THEY ARE LABELS, JUST LIKE PROFILING A HIJACKER.
IT'S ONLY SORT OF ACCURATE.
IT'S-- AND I'M SAYING THIS REALLY, REALLY SERIOUSLY.
IT'S NOT ACCURATE LIKE TUBERCULOSIS IS ACCURATE.
I MEAN WHAT OTHER KINDS OF SYNDROMES DO PEOPLE SIT
AROUND A HOTEL ROOM AND DECIDE HAVE DIAGNOSING.
I MEAN, THAT'S THE SAME WAY BUILDING CODES ARE FIGURED
OUT AND, YOU KNOW, ENGINEERS SIT AROUND HOTEL CONFERENCE ROOMS
AND DECIDE, YOU KNOW, HOW TO CHANGE BUILDING CODE.
THEY'VE NOT DONE THAT IN ANIMAL WELFARE CODES.
NOW THE THING IS IF THE PROFILE IS USED CORRECTLY,
THERE'S A HIGH CORRELATION WITH BRAIN SCAN DATA.
BUT I FIND ONCE YOU GET OUT OF THE WAY
FROM THE BIG MEDICAL CENTERS, PROFILES ARE NOT USED CORRECTLY.
OK. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASPERGER AND AUTISM?
WELL RIGHT NOW, UNTIL THEY CHANGE IT, REAL SIMPLE.
AUTISM HAS TO BE ONSET BEFORE AGE 3.
THERE'S OBVIOUS SPEECH DELAY ALONG
WITH THE OTHER AUTISTIC SYMPTOMS.
ASPERGER'S, THERE'S NO OBVIOUS SPEECH DELAY.
SO TO PUT IT VERY, VERY SIMPLY, WHEN THE KID'S 3,
NOBODY'S RUNNING OFF TO THE DOCTOR.
SO WHAT'S PDD?
IT'S EARLY ONSET BUT NOT QUITE ENOUGH SYMPTOMS
TO CALL IT AUTISM.
NOW, A LOT OF THESE SENSORY PROBLEMS I'VE BEEN
TALKING ABOUT.
DYSLEXICS CAN HAVE THEM.
ADHD CAN HAVE THEM.
LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF THE DIFFERENT LABELS CAN HAVE THEM.
AND I CAN TELL YOU, I CAN'T WAIT
UNTIL THEY CAN GET HIGH SPEED BRAIN SCANNING
AND THAT COULD BE USED TO DIAGNOSE THE BRAIN SYSTEMS
WHERE WE HAVE PROBLEMS.
NOW SOME KIDS REALLY GOOD TO READ SOME AUTISTIC KIDS,
NOT EVERYBODY THESE SENSORY THINGS ARE VERY, VERY VARIABLE.
I DIDN'T HAVE THESE VISUAL PROBLEMS.
THEY GO TO READ WHITE-- THE WHITE PAPER WITH BLACK PRINT
ON IT AND THE WRITING WILL KIND OF JIGGLE ON THE PAGE
BECAUSE THERE'S PROBLEMS WITH THE CIRCUITS OF PROCESS MOTION
IN THE BRAIN AND THEY'RE SEEING MOTION
WHEN THEY SHOULDN'T BE SEEING MOTION.
OK. HERE ARE SOME SIMPLE, SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO
FOR VISUAL PROCESSING PROBLEMS, THINGS YOU CAN DO YOURSELF.
WHY DON'T YOU GET AN INCANDESCENT LAMP
OR AN OLD-FASHIONED ENERGY WASTER BULB,
PUT IT NEXT TO THE KID'S DESK.
THOSE TWIRLY KIND OF FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULBS,
SOME OF THOSE ARE TERRIBLE.
I NORMALLY DO NOT SEE FLICKER ON FLUORESCENT LIGHTS BUT I STAYED
AT A HOTEL WHERE I SAW FLICKER ON A LAMP THAT HAD THOSE KIND
OF BULBS AND I COULD NOT READ WITH IT.
BLOCK FLUORESCENT LIGHTS WITH A HAT, SIT OVER BY THE WINDOW.
NOW LAPTOP COMPUTER IS THE ONLY COMPUTER
THAT ABSOLUTELY DOESN'T FLICKER.
I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE WHERE A LAPTOP JUST SAVED THEM.
THE TVS FLICKER, THE TV TAGS FLICKER
AND THE BIG DESKTOP PANELS, A LOT OF THOSE FLICKER
BECAUSE THERE'S A FLUORESCENT LIGHT INSIDE IT.
ONLY SCREEN THAT DOESN'T FLICKER ARE REAL SKINNY ONE,
THEY'RE SO SKINNY LIKE ON A LAPTOP,
YOU CAN'T GET A FLUORESCENT LIGHT IN THERE.
TRY PUTTING A WORK ON GRAY, TAN,
OR PASTEL PAPER TO REDUCE CONTRAST.
SOME PEOPLE ARE REALLY HELPED WITH THE IRLEN COLORED LENSES
WHERE YOU TRY ON DIFFERENT COLORED GLASSES
UNTIL YOU FIND THE SHADE WHERE IT WORKS.
OK. I GET OUT IN THE LOW INCOME AREAS, I GO, OK, PEOPLE,
LET'S JUST GO DOWN TO WALMART AND WE'RE GOING TO TRY ON ALL
OF THE PALE COLORED SUNGLASSES.
AND THEN I TALKED TO ONE MOM AND HER KID COULDN'T TOLERATE--
HER 10-YEAR-OLD COULDN'T TOLERATE FIVE MINUTES
OF WALMART.
AND THEY TRIED ON SOME LITTLE PINK CHILDREN'S GLASSES
AND SHE CAN DO AN HOUR OF SHOPPING NOW
THAT SHE WAS NOT ABLE TO DO BEFORE.
BALANCING GAMES, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF THE OT THINGS,
A LOT OF THINGS THE OTS DO WITH PRESSURE AND SWINGING
AND BALANCING LIKE SITTING ON A BALL.
SOMEONE'S HELP TO STABILIZE PROCESSING,
THEY MAKE THAT BAD CELLPHONE CONNECTION WORK BETTER.
IF I'VE TAKEN THAT PHONE OVER BY THE--
GET IT RIGHT UP AGAINST THE WINDOW,
MAYBE IT'LL WORK ON THIS BUILDING.
AND THEN SOME PEOPLE CAN BE HELPED WITH PRISM GLASSES
BUT THOSE HAVE TO BE DONE BY A PROFESSIONAL.
BUT THE OTHER THINGS ON HERE ARE JUST SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN TRY.
I HAD A DYSLEXIC STUDENT THAT WOULD HAVE FLUNKED OUT OF SCHOOL
WITHOUT IRLEN LENSES AND A LAPTOP COMPUTER.
NOW, THE PROBLEM WITH THAT IS AUTISM IS VERY, VERY VARIABLE.
SO IF YOU'VE GOT 20 PEOPLE WITH AUTISM,
IRLEN LENSES MAY ONLY WORK ON TWO OF THEM
BUT THEY REALLY WORK ON THOSE TWO.
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING FOR ME, I DON'T NEED THEM.
SCIENTISTS HAVE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT THE BRAIN.
I GET REALLY FED UP WHEN PEOPLE SAY, WELL,
THEY DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT, THAT'S A LOT OF RUBBISH.
ACTUALLY SCIENTISTS KNOW A WHOLE LOT ABOUT THE BRAIN.
IT'S A VERY STRONG GENETIC BASIS IN AUTISM.
THE EMOTION CIRCUITS ARE ABNORMAL
AND IMMATURELY DEVELOPED.
ONE OF THE BIG THINGS ABOUT THE AUTISTIC BRAIN IS THESE PROBLEMS
WITH THE INTERCONNECTEDNESS
BETWEEN DIFFERENT BRAIN DEPARTMENTS.
I LIKE TO VISUALIZE THE BRAIN
AS THIS GREAT BIG CORPORATE OFFICE TOWER.
AND UP AT THE TOP, YOU GOT THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
AND THEN YOU GOT THE, YOU KNOW, THE MATH DEPARTMENT
AND YOU GOT THE ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT
WITH THE GRAPHIC DESIGNERS.
YOU'VE GOT SALES DEPARTMENT,
ALL THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS OPERATIONS.
AND IN THE NORMAL BUILDING, YOU GOT ALL KINDS OF INTERNET
AND EMAIL CONNECTIONS AND PHONE CONNECTIONS
THAT WIRE TOGETHER ALL THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS.
NOW, ON AUTISM WHAT HAPPENS IS,
AS THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER WE'LL JUST GIVE THEM ONE DIAL
UP, THAT'S ALL HE GETS.
BUT THEN, MAYBE OVER IN THE GRAPHIC DESIGN DEPARTMENT,
THEY GET A HUNDRED INTERNET CONNECTIONS.
IN OTHER WORDS, SOME DEPARTMENTS GET EXTRA WIRING, OTHER--
HUMAN RESOURCES, THE SOCIAL STAFF, SALES,
WE DON'T GIVE THE-- WE DON'T EVEN GIVE THEM PHONES.
[ LAUGHTER ]
YOU KNOW, BECAUSE WE'RE MORE INTERESTED IN WIRING
UP THE GEEK STUFF, YOU KNOW, LIKE THE MATH DEPARTMENT
AND THE-- AND THINGS LIKE THAT.
NOW, THE BRAIN LET ME TELL YOU AN INTERESTING THING
ABOUT THE BRAIN.
YOU HAVE GRAY MATTER AND YOU HAVE WHITE MATTER.
GRAY MATTER IS THE BRAIN'S PROCESSORS.
WHITE MATTER IS THE INTERCONNECTIONS
BETWEEN THE OFFICES
OF THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS OF THE BRAIN.
HALF OF THE BRAIN IS WHITE MATTER.
HALF OF THE BRAIN IS INTERCONNECTING CIRCUITS.
ANOTHER INTERESTING THING THAT'S BEEN LEARNED BY DR. CASANOVA
AT THE UNIVERSITY IN KNOXVILLE IS HE LOOKS
AT THESE THINGS CALLED MINICOLUMNS,
THEY'RE THE BRAIN'S PRIMARY PROCESSOR UNITS.
AND HE FOUND THAT PEOPLE
ON THE SPECTRUM HAVE MORE PROCESSORS PER SQUARE INCH.
YOU KNOW, BUT THERE'S A PRICE YOU PAY FOR THAT.
THOSE LITTLE, TEENY PROCESSORS AREN'T POWERFUL ENOUGH TO SEND
OUT BIG TRUNK LINES OUT THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS
OF THE BRAIN.
WE LEAVE THE CEO WITHOUT VERY MUCH WIRING, YOU KNOW,
FROM THE FRONTAL CORTEX.
AND NORMAL PEOPLE HAVE LARGER CIRCUITS WITH BIG TRUNK LINES.
SO THERE'S KIND OF TWO WAYS YOU CAN MAKE A BRAIN,
YOU CAN MAKE A REALLY SOCIAL, LEAVE OUT THE DETAIL,
LOT OF FAST CONNECTIONS OR MAKE IT REALLY GO FOR DETAIL
BUT GOING TO BE POOR ON THE LONG DISTANCE CONNECTIONS
WITH THE LOCAL CONNECTIONS.
YOU KNOW, SORT OF IMAGINE THE OFFICE BUILDING
WHERE DOWN THE MATH DEPARTMENT, WE GOT CABLES THIS BIG
OVER THE CUBICLE WALLS.
AND THE CUBICLE WALLS ARE FALLING
DOWN BECAUSE THEY GOT GIGANTIC CABLES HOOKING
UP ALL THESE COMPUTERS THEY BROUGHT IN.
THAT'S THE-- THAT WOULD BE THE SAVANT POINT.
NOW, YOU KNOW, THESE ARE BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
THAT ARE CAUSED BY THE AUTISM OR THE ASPERGER'S.
THESE ARE MAINLY SENSORY THINGS SCREAMING
WHEN THE FIRE ALARM GOES OFF, TANTRUMS IN A SUPERMARKET.
I COULDN'T TOLERATE SCRATCHY CLOTHES.
THERE'S NO WAY YOU'RE GETTING WOOL AGAINST MY SKIN.
I JUST CAN'T TOLERATE IT.
SOME KIDS HAVE POOR HANDWRITING.
THERE'S A GOOD REASON WHY KEYBOARDS WERE INVENTED
AND I'M A BIG BELIEVER IN INTRODUCING THEM EARLY.
AND THEN, A PROBLEM
WITH FLUORESCENT LIGHTS THESE ARE THINGS WE'RE GOING
TO HAVE TO ACCOMMODATE.
THESE ARE THE STUFF WE DO NOT HAVE TO ACCOMMODATE
AND I THINK WE'RE GETTING INTO KIND
OF A GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCE HERE.
BECAUSE LET ME TELL YOU, TABLE MANNERS, POUND THAT IN.
SAYING PLEASE AND THANK YOU, POUND THAT IN.
SHAKING HANDS WITH PEOPLE, POUND THAT IN.
YES, YOU DO HAVE TO SIT THROUGH CHURCH AND IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT,
YOU GOT TO SIT THROUGH IT.
I WASN'T ALLOWED TO STIM AT THE TABLE.
I WAS ALLOWED TO STIM DURING REST PERIOD AFTER LUNCH.
I WAS GIVEN-- SOMETIMES, I COULD STIM BUT CHURCH
AND DINNER WERE TWO PLACES WHERE I WASN'T ALLOWED.
YOU KNOW, AND I THINK THERE'S SORT OF, YOU KNOW,
MORE STRICT UPBRINGING I HAD WAS REALLY HELPFUL.
BECAUSE I KNOW-- SEE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME, 40, 50,
60-YEAR-OLD ASPERGER'S ALL OVER THE PLACE KEPT GOOD JOBS
FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS.
AND I THINK THAT MORE RIGID UPBRINGING WAS REALLY HELPFUL.
THERE WAS ABSOLUTE CONSISTENT DISCIPLINE
BETWEEN HOME AND SCHOOL.
THERE WAS NO WAY I COULD PLAY THE TEACHER AGAINST MOM,
YOU KNOW, AND VICE VERSA.
IF I HAD A BAD DAY AT SCHOOL,
THEY TOOK AWAY HOWDY DOODY SHOW FOR ONE NIGHT.
SLOPPINESS, YOU KNOW, I'VE SEEN AUTISTIC KIDS NOW, YOU KNOW
AND ASPERGER KIDS, THEY GO ON A STORE
AND TAKE STUFF OFF THE SHELF AND THROW IT ON THE FLOOR.
I WASN'T ALLOWED TO DO THAT.
I WAS TAUGHT WHEN I WAS FIVE YEARS OLD YOU DON'T TOUCH IT
IN A STORE UNLESS YOU'RE GOING TO BUY IT.
YOU KNOW, MAKING RUDE COMMENTS ABOUT PEOPLE'S APPEARANCE.
YOU KNOW, THIS IS AN-- AND ALL THESE OTHER STUFF IS NOT ALL
RIGHT AND HAVING AUTISM
OR ASPERGER'S IS NOT AN EXCUSED FOR THIS.
BUT YOU GOT TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN THE SENSORY PROBLEMS
BECAUSE YOU CAN'T-- SOMETIMES THE KID'S GOING
TO HAVE A MELTDOWN WHEN THEY GET TIRED.
THEY JUST CAN'T STAND IT ESPECIALLY
WHEN THEY GOT OVERSTIMULATED
AND THEY GET A DIFFERENTIATE RUDENESS
FROM GETTING OVERSTIMULATED.
YOU DON'T EVER, EVER PUNISH SENSORY PROBLEMS EVER.
NOW, SOME KIDS, IN HOW LITTLE YOU START, YOU KNOW,
LIKE THEY'RE FINALLY GOOD AT SOMETHING LIKE DRAWING.
ONE OF THE THINGS I WANT TO EMPHASIZE IS BUILDING
ON THE AREA OF STRENGTH.
KIDS THAT ARE ON THE SPECTRUM ARE OFTEN GOOD AT ONE THING
AND BAD AT SOMETHING ELSE.
WE GOT TO BUILD ON THE AREA OF STRENGTH.
WHAT IS THIS PERSON GOOD AT?
IT'S REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT.
UNFORTUNATELY IN SPECIAL ED, THERE'S TOO MUCH EMPHASIS
ON THE DEFICITS AND NOT ENOUGH EMPHASIS
ON BUILDING ON THE STRENGTH AREA.
ALSO THE KIDS WILL GET FIXATED ON SOMETHING.
IF THE KID LIKES AIRPLANES, READ BOOKS WITH AIRPLANES,
DO MATH WITH AIRPLANES.
I'VE HAD PEOPLE SAY, ALL HE WANTS TO DO IS PLAY POKEMON.
WELL, IF HE'S GOOD AT DRAWING, LEAVE HIM ALONE
TO DRAW PICTURES OF POKEMON.
OK. NOW WE'RE GOING TO DO POKEMON'S CAR, POKEMON'S HOUSE.
IN OTHER WORDS, BROADEN THAT OUT, BROADEN THAT OUT.
YOU KNOW, EVEN SOMEBODY THAT'S NON-VERBAL IS GOING
TO HAVE SOME AREAS OF STRENGTH.
WE'VE GOT TO BUILD ON THOSE AREAS OF STRENGTH.
NOW, I'M A VISUAL THINKER.
I-- EVERY THING I THINK ABOUT IS LIKE GOOGLE FOR IMAGES.
LANGUAGE NARRATES THE PICTURES IN MY MIND.
YOU KNOW, I THINK ABOUT SOMETHING,
IT COMES UP LIKE PICTURES, PHOTO REALISTIC PICTURES.
THAT'S HOW I THINK.
AND THOSE ARE 16 MILLIMETER MOVIE REELS IN MY HEAD.
THEY DON'T HAVE THOSE ANYMORE.
NOW, WHEN I DESIGN EQUIPMENT,
I CAN ACTUALLY TEST-RUN IT IN MY HEAD.
I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT WAS A SPECIAL SKILL.
I THOUGHT EVERYBODY COULD TEST-RUN EQUIPMENT
IN THEIR HEAD.
I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS A SPECIAL SKILL
UNTIL I STARTED INTERVIEWING PEOPLE ABOUT HOW THEY THINK.
I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT MOST PEOPLE THOUGHT IT WORKS.
NOW, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S BEEN VERY INTERESTING,
HAS BEEN FOUND OUT, IS THE AUTISTIC BRAIN IS INTO DETAILS
AND A NORMAL BRAIN TENDS TO DROP
OUT DETAILS AND GET OVERLY VAGUE.
IT'S A CONTINUUM.
NOW, YOU WANT YOUR AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER
AND BE A LITTLE BIT OBSESSIVE BECAUSE YOU'D
LIKE TO NOT HAVE THE PLANE SMASHING WITH EACH OTHER.
YOU'D LIKE TO HAVE YOUR BRIDGE ENGINEER NOT FORGET
ABOUT THE DETAILS BECAUSE OTHERWISE BRIDGE IS GOING
TO FALL DOWN THAT SIMPLE.
THIS IS ONE OF MY PROJECTS THAT WAS BUILT DOWN IN BRAZIL.
AND I LIKE THIS ONE BECAUSE I LIKE TO FANTASIZE
ABOUT WHAT THE ARCHEOLOGISTS ARE GOING TO THINK THIS WAS
FOR WHEN THEY DIG IT UP.
[ LAUGHTER ]
AND OBVIOUSLY, OF COURSE, IT HAD GREAT,
GREAT RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE.
[ LAUGHTER ]
NOW, HOW DO YOU FORM A CONCEPT WHEN YOU THINK IN PICTURES?
YOU FORM A CONCEPT BY SORTING PICTURES INTO CATEGORIES.
MAKING CATEGORIES IS THE BEGINNING OF CONCEPT FORMATION.
AND NOW THIS LITTLE BOY SENT ME ANOTHER PICTURE SHOWING HOW HE'S
SORTING CATS AND DOGS INTO DIFFERENT BOXES.
YOU KNOW, IN ORDER TO DIFFERENTIATE A CAT FROM A DOG.
WELL, A DOG IS BIGGER THAN A CAT.
OK. THAT'S ONE WAY YOU'RE GOING TO DO IT.
BUT THEN, WHEN YOU GET A LITTLE TINY DOG INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD,
I CAN NO LONGER SORT THEM BY SIZE.
AND WHEN OUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR'S BOUGHT A DACHSHUND,
I HAD TO FIGURE OUT WHY SHE WASN'T A CAT.
AND I LOOKED AT HER AND I LOOKED AT HER AND I LOOKED AT HER
AND I HAD TO FIND A VISUAL FEATURE EVERY SINGLE DOG HAS
THAT NONE OF THE CATS HAVE GOT.
AND EVERY SINGLE DOG, NO MATTER HOW WEIRD,
HAS GOT EXACTLY THE SAME NOSE.
IN OTHER WORDS I FOUND A VISUAL FEATURE
WHERE YOU COULD CATEGORIZE ALL OF THE DOGS.
IT'S SENSORY-BASED CATEGORIZATION.
IT'S NOT WORD-BASED.
YOU COULD ALSO DO IT BY SOUND, BARKING OR MEOWING.
THAT IS SOUND-BASED.
NOW, I USED TO JOKE AROUND ABOUT MAYBE HAVING A BIG INTERNET
CONNECTION DEEP UNDER THE VISUAL CORTEX
AND DR. NANCY MINSHEW DID A BRAIN SCAN, SPECIAL KIND
OF BRAIN SCAN ON ME AND FOUND THAT MY BIG TRUNK LINE
DOWN THE BASE OF THE BRAIN AND ALL BRAINS HAS A BIG,
HUGE TRUNK LINE THAT'S DOWN IN HERE WHERE ALL
OF THE PROCESSOR UNITS TIE INTO THAT WORKING FROM THE FRONT
TO THE BACK OF THE BRAIN AND DEEP INTO THE VISUAL CORTEX.
AND WHEN I GOT COPY OF THESE PICTURES I'M LIKE WOW, WELL,
THAT BEGINS TO EXPLAIN IT.
YOU KNOW, MINE'S A WHOLE LOT BIGGER AND THERE I GOT A GREAT,
BIG ONE ON THE RIGHT SIDE BUT I PAY A PRICE FOR THIS.
MAN, I COULD NOT DO ALGEBRA.
IT'S TOO ABSTRACT, THERE'S NOTHING THERE
FOR ME TO VISUALIZE.
AND I'M FINDING A LOT OF KIDS WHERE THEY NEED
TO GO STRAIGHT TO GEOMETRY AND TRIG.
THEY CAN DO GEOMETRY AND TRIG, I'VE NEVER HAD A CHANCE
TO REALLY DO GEOMETRY AND TRIG BECAUSE I FAILED ALGEBRA
SO THEY KEPT POUNDING AWAY ON ALGEBRA.
I HAD A FANTASTIC SCIENCE TEACHER WHO TOOK MY FIXATIONS
AND USED THEM TO MOTIVATE ME IN SCIENCE.
BECAUSE WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, IT'S TERRIBLE.
TEASE, TEASE, TEASE WORST PART
OF MY LIFE IT WAS ABSOLUTELY, YOU KNOW, BEYOND.
IT'S TOTALLY DREADFUL.
BUT NOW I HAD A GOAL BECOMING A SCIENTIST SO I STOPPED GOOFING
AROUND IN SCHOOL BUT I JUST COULDN'T DO ALGEBRA,
IT'S JUST TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE.
NOW I HAVE FOUND THAT ON THE-- YOU KNOW, SINCE WHAT HAPPENS
IN AUTISM AND ASPERGER'S
AND ERIC COURCHESNE HAS DONE RESEARCH
ON THIS HERE IN CALIFORNIA.
AND DR. COURCHESNE HAS FOUND THAT,
YOU KNOW THERE'S ABNORMALITIES
IN THESE INTERCONNECTED CIRCUITS.
THERE'S NOT ENOUGH OF THEM TO GO AROUND.
SO WHAT TENDS TO HAPPEN, ONE PART OF THE BRAIN IS WIRED,
MAYBE EXTRA OTHER PART OF THE BRAIN GETS LEFT OUT.
AND I HAD KIND OF FOUND--
THERE'S KIND OF THREE SPECIALIZED TYPES.
NOW, YOU CAN HAVE MIXTURES OF THESE.
THE VISUAL THINKER LIKE ME PHOTO REALISTIC PICTURES,
BAD AT ALGEBRA.
MUSIC AND MATH MINDS, THIS IS A TYPE OF VISUAL THINKING
BUT IT'S MORE ABSTRACT.
IT'S PATTERN THINKING.
IT'S PATTERN THINKING.
IN MY BOOK THINKING IN PICTURES, I EXPLAINED VISUAL THINKING
BUT IN ANOTHER BOOK CALLED BORN ON A BLUE DAY,
DANIEL TAMMET IS GOING TO DO A VERY NICE JOB DESCRIBING
TO THE WORLD OF PATTERN THINKING.
THEN ANOTHER TYPE, IT'S A WORD THINKER.
THEY KNOW LOTS AND LOTS OF FACTS.
OFTENTIMES, THEY LOVE HISTORY.
THEY MIGHT MAKE GOOD JOURNALISTS AND THEN TERRIBLE AT DRAWING.
THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY NOT A VISUAL THINKER.
OH, I PRESSED THE WRONG THING THERE.
NOW, I WANT TO TRY TO GIVE YOU A GLIMPSE INTO THE MIND
OF THE PATTERN THINKER.
IN THESE SLIDES, A LOT OF THEM DELIBERATELY DO NOT
HAVE WRITING.
I'M TRYING TO GET YOU AWAY FROM LANGUAGE.
I GOT TO GET YOU INTO AN ALTERNATE REALITY HERE.
THAT PRAYING MANTIS, THAT'S A WORK OF ROBERT LANG,
IS MADE OUT OF A SINGLE SHEET OF FOLDED PAPER.
THAT PRAYING MANTIS, YOU SEE ON THAT SLIDE.
NOW YOU SEE THE PATTERN THAT'S IN THE BACKGROUND THERE.
THAT IS THE FOLDING PATTERN FOR MAKING THE PRAYING MANTIS.
NOW I CAN'T-- THERE'S NO WAY I COULD POSSIBLY DO THIS,
ABSOLUTELY NO WAY.
IT'S ANOTHER KIND OF MIND.
AND THESE GUYS TEND TO BE HAVE TROUBLE WITH READING ENGLISH.
THAT TENDS TO BE THEIR WEAK AREA.
KIND OF YOU TEACH A CONCEPT?
YOU TEACH A CONCEPT LIKE NOT RUNNING ACROSS THE STREET.
I MEAN I'VE HAD PARENTS SAY, WELL, MY KID OBEYS A RULE
AT HOME, BUT AT SCHOOL HE RUNS ACROSS THE STREET.
AT THE CHURCH, HE RUNS ACROSS THE STREET.
WHAT YOU GOT TO DO IS YOU GOT TO TEACH HIM IN MANY,
MANY DIFFERENT STREETS.
MANY, MANY DIFFERENT STREETS GO INTO THE NOT RUNNING
ACROSS THE STREET CATEGORY.
THEN HE'LL START TO GET A CONCEPT.
AT THE SAME WAY YOU TEACH A GUIDE DOG
OR SEEING EYE DOG ABOUT INTERSECTIONS.
YOU MUST SHOW HIM MANY KINDS OF INTERSECTIONS
BECAUSE IF YOU'RE ONLY SHOWING INTERSECTIONS WITH WHITE LINES,
HE WON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO IF THERE'S NO WHITE LINES.
OR LET'S SAY YOU ONLY SHOWED THEM INTERSECTIONS
WITH STOPLIGHTS, HE'S NOT GOING TO KNOW WHAT TO DO
WITH INTERSECTIONS THAT HAVE STOP SIGNS.
YOU SEE DIFFERENT PICTURES.
IT'S VERY SPECIFIC.
NORMAL HUMAN BEING IS-- DROPS OUT THE DETAILS.
YOU KNOW, PLAY GAMES WITH CATEGORIES.
DR. NANCY MINSHEW FOUND THAT YOU COULD SAY--
YOU COULD LAY OUT SOME OBJECTS AND YOU COULD SAY
TO AN AUTISTIC KID, PICK OUT THE RED THINGS,
AND HE COULD DO THAT.
BUT IF YOU ASK HIM TO PICK OUT NEW CATEGORIES
FOR THESE THINGS I'M SHOWING ON THE SCREEN LIKE MAYBE THE,
YOU KNOW, MAKE UP NEW CATEGORIES, ROUND OBJECTS,
CONTAINS PLASTIC, CONTAINS CLOTH IS AN ARTICLE OF CLOTHING,
YOU KNOW, THINGS THAT HAVE METAL IN THEM.
PLAY GAMES WITH CATEGORIES.
IT HELPS TO TEACH FLEXIBILITY OF THINKING.
ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IN AUTISTIC THINKING IS IT'S VERY RIGID.
NOW, WHEN WE WERE KIDS, WE PLAY LOTS AND LOTS
OF THAT GAME 20 QUESTIONS.
HOW MANY PEOPLE HERE KNOW WHAT 20 QUESTIONS IS?
OK. REALLY GOOD GAME BECAUSE IT'S TEACHING CATEGORIES YOU
KNOW, THAT RED BALL IS RED.
IT'S ALSO ROUND.
IT COULD BE USED-- IF IS SAID,
PICK UP OBJECTS HERE FOR RECREATION.
OK. THE BALL, THE HATS
BUT IT MIGHT DEPEND UPON WHO'S USING THE HATS AND WHERE
BECAUSE THAT BALL COULD ALSO BE USED FOR HAND THERAPY.
IT'S THE SAME KIND OF BALL THAT'S USED FOR HAND THERAPY.
OK. WHEN I WAS THREE AND FOUR YEARS OLD,
LIKE WE DIDN'T HAVE IEPS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT
WHEN I WAS A CHILD BUT WE HAD AN EDUCATION PLAN
FOR MY SUMMER ON THIS LITTLE CAMP.
I WAS GOING TO LEARN THE LORD'S PRAYER AND I WAS GOING TO LEARN
TO DO MY VERY, VERY, VERY BEST.
AND I LEARNED THE LORD'S PRAYER
AND I ABSOLUTELY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT MEANT.
AND THE ONLY THING THAT MEANT ANYTHING TO ME WAS THE POWER
AND THE GLORY AND I PICTURED A RAINBOW WITH ELECTRIC TOWER
IN THE BASE OF THE RAINBOW.
THAT IS THE POWER AND THE GLORY AND YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED
TO KNOW THAT THIS PICTURE HERE IS NO PHOTOSHOP TRICKS
OR ANYTHING.
I ACTUALLY TOOK THAT.
IT'S A REAL PICTURE.
NO TRICKS.
NOW, SOME PEOPLE SAY AUTISTIC LEARNING IS JUST MEMORIZATION
AND SCRIPTING.
IN THE BEGINNING, IT'S JUST MEMORIZATION AND SCRIPTING
BUT AS I LEARN MORE AND MORE AND MORE AND MORE THINGS,
MY SEARCH ENGINE, MY MIND WORKS JUST LIKE GOOGLE FOR IMAGES.
SO AS I LOAD MORE AND MORE DATA IN HERE,
MY SEARCH ENGINE CAN PUT IT AROUND AND CATEGORIZE IT
IN DIFFERENT WAYS AND THEN YOU GET LESS SORT OF ROBOTIC
AND LESS SORT OF LIKE SCRIPTED
BECAUSE I CAN PUT IT TOGETHER UNDER NEW CATEGORIES.
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR AUTISTIC KIDS
TO SEE A LOT OF THINGS.
WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS OLD THE OPPORTUNITY CAME
UP TO GO TO MY AUNT'S RANCH.
I WAS SCARED TO GO BUT MOTHER MADE ME GO.
THAT WAS GOOD.
YOU DON'T SHOVE KIDS INTO SURPRISES.
SURPRISES CAUSE PANIC.
BUT SOME OF THESE KIDS NEEDED TO BE PUSHED A BIT.
TRY NEW THINGS AND THAT WAS THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED.
OK. SO VISUAL THINKER, YOU OUGHT TO BE GOOD AT THIS.
SEE THIS FIGURE RIGHT HERE?
HOW MANY OF YOU SEE IT IN A PINK AND YELLOW FIGURE,
HOW MANY CAN SEE THAT?
OH, DOING KIND OF BAD, YOU KNOW, WELL I DON'T HAVE THE COMPUTER
UP HERE TO DEMONSTRATE IT.
YOU KNOW JUST KICK YOURSELF.
NOW, WHEN YOU TAKE SOMEBODY THAT'S A REALLY GOOD VISUAL
THINKER AND YOU PUT THEM IN A BRAIN SCANNER,
JUST THE VISION PART OF THE BRAIN GETS TURNED ON
AND OTHER STUFFS TURN OFF.
SO NOW I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU HOW I CAN USE VISUAL THINKING
IN A MORE ABSTRACT WAY.
THIS IS A VISUAL SYMBOL PICTURE FOR THE BRAIN SCAN
OF THE AUTISTIC PERSON.
IT'S LIKE THIS LITTLE BRIGHT CABIN IN THE WILDERNESS THAT,
YOU KNOW, THAT'S IT'S ALL SNOW
AND YOU DON'T HAVE ALL THESE OTHER INTERCONNECTIONS.
THE BRAIN SCAN OF A NORMAL PERSON'S LIKE THIS LAMP STORE,
YOU SEE, YOU GOT SO MUCH OTHER STUFF YOU TURNED ON.
IT ACTUALLY COVERS UP THE VISUAL THINKING.
IN FACT, THERE'S RESEARCH THAT'S BEEN DONE NOW IN THE BRAIN
THAT SHOWS THAT LANGUAGE COVERS UP VISUAL THINKING,
MUSICAL THINKING, THE MORE DETAILED SENSORY-BASED THINKING.
OH, WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT?
WELL, I KNOW THIS IS A STRETCH BUT THAT KIND OF REMIND ME
TO TALK ABOUT INTERCONNECTEDNESS OF BRAIN SYSTEMS.
I KNOW THAT'S A STRETCH, YOU KNOW, SKELETAL BUILDING.
I'M TRYING TO GIVE YOU AN INSIGHT INTO HOW I WAS ABLE--
HOW I CAN DO SOME ABSTRACT THINKING
BY USING THESE VISUAL SYMBOL PICTURES.
BUT YOU SEE, I ALWAYS HAVE TO GO BACK
TO AN IMAGE OR I CAN NOT THINK.
IN FACT, REMEMBERING NUMBERS, I'M REALLY TERRIBLE
ABOUT THAT, ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE.
I ONLY HAVE MEMORIZED LIKE ABOUT SEVEN OR EIGHT PHONE NUMBERS.
THING IS, WHEN YOU HEAR A WORD, SEE A WORD, SPEAK A WORD
OR THINK ABOUT A WORD, SEE
THAT DIFFERENT PARTS OF BRAIN TURNED ON?
THE NORMAL BRAIN IS ALL KINDS OF INTERCONNECTIONS WHILE
IN AUTISM, YOU KNOW, SOME PARTS GET EXTRA WIRINGS,
SOME GETS NONE BUT THE TENDENCY IS FOR THE FRONTAL CORTEX,
THE BRAIN'S CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER,
THAT TENDS TO JUST GET A FEW DIALOGUES OF ITS LINE.
THAT'S ALL IT GETS.
NOW, THIS IS A PIECE OF ART THAT CAME FROM AN ALZHEIMER'S PATIENT
THAT HAD NO PREVIOUS INTEREST IN ART.
IT'S CALLED FRONTOTEMPORAL LOBE DEMENTIA.
IN A FRONTOTEMPORAL LOBE DEMENTIA AID
OUT THE LANGUAGE PARTS OF THE BRAIN AND THEN ART TALENT SHOWED
UP OR MUSIC TALENT SHOWED UP.
THEN FOUR OR FIVE YEARS LATER,
THE ALZHEIMER'S WRECK EVERYTHING.
BUT THERE WAS THIS PERIOD WHERE THE LANGUAGE WAS RUINED
AND THIS ART TALENT SHOWED UP AND THIS IS BRUCE MILLER'S WORK,
PUBLISHED IN THE JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY.
YOU KNOW, THIS IS A SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL THIS IS PUBLISHED IN.
THERE'S ANOTHER PIECE OF THIS ART FROM ONE OF THESE PEOPLE.
ONE OF THEM WAS A TAPE DECK INSTALLER,
YOU KNOW, CAR STEREO INSTALLER.
FOR THE VISUAL THINKER, YOU GOT TO MAKE TEACHING MATH CONCRETE.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE WORKING WITH SOME OF THE NON-VERBAL KIDS,
WORK WITH BLOCKS THAT ARE DIFFERENT LENGTHS
WITH DIFFERENT NUMBERS SO THEY CAN FEEL THE NUMBERS, SEE THEM.
CUT UP A PIECE OF FOOD THAT TEACHES FRACTIONS,
HALF AN APPLE, QUARTER OF AN APPLE
OR IF THAT'S TOO MESSY THEN CUT UP CARDBOARD CIRCLES.
OVER HERE IS JUST LITTLE THINGS YOU CAN MANIPULATE LIKE,
YOU KNOW, FOUR PLUS FIVE EQUALS NINE AND THESE LITTLE THINGS
THAT I CAN HANDLE, LITTLE PIECES I CAN HANDLE AND TOUCH.
SO NUMBERS ARE REAL, YOU CAN USE PENNIES.
PENNIES WORK REALLY, REALLY WELL.
DON'T USE NICKELS OR DIMES THAT WILL BE CONFUSING,
USE PENNIES BECAUSE THEY ARE A UNIT OF ONE.
I THINK THIS IS CLEVER, THIS IS FROM THE TEACCH PROGRAM.
WE GOT FIVE MINUS ONE EQUALS FOUR.
AND WHEN YOU TAKE A PIECE AWAY YOU BAG IT IN A BAGGY
BECAUSE YOU TOOK IT AWAY.
THAT MAKES SUBTRACTION CONCRETE, I THOUGHT THAT WAS CLEVER.
HERE IS SIX MINUS FIVE EQUALS ONE.
AND YOU GOT FIVE PIECES IN THE BAG BECAUSE YOU TOOK THEM AWAY.
AND WHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT, BOXES ON FORKLIFT PALLETS.
WELL 10 YEAS AGO AT CSU WE HAD A GIANT FLOOD, AND IT FLOODED
THAT BASEMENTS AND 13, 14 OF OUR BUILDINGS WE HAD THREE FEET
OF WATER ROLL ACROSS CAMPUS.
AND I WAS VERY UPSET ABOUT BOOKS GETTING WRECKED.
YOU SEE IN THIS-- INTERNET WASN'T THAT BIG AT THIS TIME.
AND WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS THEY'RE RESCUING YOU KNOW,
WET BOOKS.
BUT THE IDEA OF BOOKS BEING DESTROYED REALLY UPSET ME
BECAUSE KNOWLEDGE WAS BEING DESTROYED.
AND I GOT THE THINKING ABOUT THIS, WHY WAS I SO UPSET
ABOUT THE LIBRARY HAD BEEN TRASHED?
I MEAN THAT ONE-- WHEN I WAS
AT THE ANIMAL SCIENCE MEETINGS I OPEN--
I GOT THE USA TODAY SHOVED AT THE DOOR OF MY HOTEL,
IN THE FRONT PAGE OF USA TODAY WAS WRECKED BOOKS
OF MY UNIVERSITY.
AND I GOT THE THINKING ABOUT THIS AND I THINK I AM WHAT I DO.
YES I'VE GOT EMOTIONS.
AND WHEN KIDS TEASE ME IT HURT A LOT BUT MY EMOTIONS ARE SIMPLER.
I CAN BE HAPPY, I CAN BE SAD, THEY'RE MORE IN THE PRESENT.
I CAN GO BACK TO WHERE TIMES
WHEN THERE WAS AN EMERGENCY LANDING ON A PLANE
AND EVEN JOKE ABOUT IT.
IT KIND OF WASN'T A JOKE AT THE TIME.
WENT DOWN THOSE EMERGENCY SLIDES
AND LET ME TELL YOU IT'S SCARY, SCARY, SCARY.
I THOUGHT THE PLANE WAS GOING TO, YOU KNOW,
THEY THOUGHT IT HAD A BOMB IN IT.
YOU KNOW, I WAS LIKE WHEN I WAS SENIOR
IN HIGH SCHOOL WHEN THAT HAPPENED.
BUT I CAN PLAY THAT LIKE VIDEO BACK IN MY HEAD
AND IT DOESN'T BOTHER ME BUT AT THE TIME IT
AS VERY SCARY I MEAN I WAS TOTALLY, TOTALLY WHITE KNUCKLES
ON EMERGENCY LANDING OF A PLANE.
THEY THOUGH THEY HAD 10 MINUTES TO GET IT DOWN.
AND WHAT I'VE DONE IS I REPLACED EMOTIONAL COMPLEXITY
WITH INTELLECTUAL COMPLEXITY.
THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I PUT SO MUCH EMPHASIS ON CAREERS
BECAUSE I GET SOCIAL INTERACTION THROUGH SHARED INTERESTS.
WE'VE GOT TO BUILD AROUND THE INTERESTS, YOU KNOW,
YOU LOOK AT PEOPLE OF HIGH FUNCTIONING AUTISM
OR ASPERGER'S YOU KNOW THAT HAVE MADE A GOOD ADJUSTMENT.
THEY WERE TAUGHT FORMAL INSTRUCTION
AND ALMOST APPRENTICED INTO A CAREER.
MR. CARLOCK, MY SCIENCE TEACHER TAUGHT ME HOW TO USE THE--
HOW TO LOOK THINGS UP IN SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS.
I MEAN REAL SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS, NOT THE ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA
OR TODAY OR THE WIKIPEDIA.
YOU'VE GOT TO GET PASS THAT AND GET TO THE REAL THINGS.
HOW DO YOU GET OFF THE WILD INTERNET AND GET
INTO THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE?
TODAY YOU WOULD HAVE SHOWED ME THINGS LIKE PUBMED, P-U-B-M-E-D,
YOU TYPE THOSE MAGIC LITTLE LETTERS INTO GOOGLE AND YOU'RE
INTO THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE.
YOU'RE OFF THE INTERNET AND YOU'RE IN--
YOU'RE OFF ON WHAT I CALL THE WILD NET.
AND YOU'RE INTO THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE AND YOU CAN
LIKE GET SUMMARIES OF SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES FOR FREE.
I MEAN THAT'S ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL.
I MEAN HE WOULD HAVE TAUGHT ME ABOUT THAT.
YOU KNOW, I SAW SOMEBODY THAT WAS
AT MY AGE THAT'S VERY SUCCESSFUL VIDEO PHOTOGRAPHER.
WELL HE GOT SOME FORMAL INSTRUCTION IN PHOTOGRAPHY
FROM A NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR.
YOU KNOW, SOMEBODY ASK THAT, YOU KNOW, TEACH HIM,
TALENT HAS TO BE DEVELOPED, SKILLS HAVE TO BE DEVELOPED.
NOW THE THING IS NANCY DID ANOTHER BRAIN SCAN ON ME
AND SHE SHOWED ME PICTURES OF PEOPLE AND PICTURES OF THINGS.
WELL ACTUALLY IT WAS AN OLD PINK FLOYD VIDEO I THINK SHE USED.
[ LAUGHTER ]
WELL I DIDN'T RECOGNIZE IT AS THAT, LET'S NOT FIGURE
OUT WHERE SHE GOT ALL THE WEIRD CARS AND STUFF FROM.
AND SO I WAS LOOKING AT THE THINGS MORE AND I WAS TRYING
TO FIGURE OUT WHAT YEAR IT WAS LOOKING AT THE CARS.
SO I WAS PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO THE THINGS.
BUT THE THING IS YOU DIDN'T HAVE PEOPLE
IN THIS WORLD INTERESTED IN THINGS.
YOU WOULDN'T HAVE ANY ELECTRICITY IN THIS BUILDING.
TESLA WHO INVENTED THE POWER PLANT WOULD DEFINITELY BE
LABELED ARTISTIC TODAY NOT ASPERGER'S TODAY ARTISTIC.
AND EINSTEIN WOULD HAVE BEEN LABELED AUTISTIC TODAY.
NO SPEECH UNTIL AGE THREE AND YOU OPEN
UP ANY BUSINESS MAGAZINE THERE'S ALL KIND
OF ASPERGER'S PROFILED ALL OVER.
THEY ARE NOT DIAGNOSED, THAT' WHAT KEEP SILICON VALLEY GOING.
AND I'M SAYING THAT WITH ALL SERIOUSNESS.
WE NEED TO HAVE PEOPLE THAT ARE INTERESTED IN THINGS.
HOW DO YOU THINK MADE THE FIRST STONE SPHERE?
IT WASN'T THE SOCIAL PEOPLE YAKKING AROUND THE CAMP FIRE.
[ LAUGHTER ]
THAT'S FOR SURE.
DETAILS. RIGHT HERE YOU GOT LITTLE LETTERS
AND YOU GOT BIG LETTERS.
AND THE PERSON ON THE SPECTRUM WILL PICK
OUT THE LITTLE LETTERS QUICKER
BECAUSE THEY TEND TOO LOOK FOR THE DETAILS.
SOCIAL INTERACTION TO SHARED INTERESTS,
I JUST CAN NOT EMPHASIZE THAT ENOUGH.
WE'VE GOT TO GET THESE KIDS THAT ARE GETTING TEASED IN THE THINGS
LIKE COMPUTER CLUB, ROBOTICS CLUB, JOURNALISM CLUB, MUSIC,
ART, AND ALL OF THE, YOU KNOW CHESS CLUB AND, YOU KNOW,
IF THEY LIKE HISTORY, A HISTORY CLUB, ALL THE THINGS
WHERE THEY CAN DO SHARED INTEREST.
BECAUSE WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL THE ONLY REFUGES I HAD
AWAY FROM TEASING WERE HORSEBACK RIDING, THE SCIENCE LAB.
THE KIDS THAT WERE INTERESTED
IN THOSE THINGS WERE NOT THE KIDS DOING THE TEASING.
THEY WERE REFUGES AWAY FROM TEASING, YOU KNOW,
SOME OF THESE KIDS ON-- THERE'S SOME OF THESE REALLY SMART KIDS
THAT NEED TO GO FROM CHILDHOOD TO GROWNUP HOOD.
SKIP HIGH SCHOOL AND THEN THEY JUST GO RIGHT STRAIGHT
TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
I'M SAYING IT'S ABSOLUTELY SERIOUS,
I'M RUNNING INTO QUITE A FEW OF THESE.
BUT THEY BETTER LEARN SOME MANNERS.
THERE'S A RULE OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE.
YOU DON'T INTERRUPT CLASSES
AND THERE'S A RULE HERE AT THIS UNIVERSITY.
AND OUR LECTURE, YOU'RE ALLOWED ONE QUESTION
AND YOU CAN'T BE TALKING BACK AND FORTH
TO THE TEACHER, THAT'S THE RULE.
I FOLLOW THAT RULE.
YOU KNOW AND THEN, FOR MOST CLASSES UNLESS IT'S A SMALL
DISCUSSION CLASS, YOU KNOW, LIKE 15 STUDENTS OR LESS,
THAT'S FOR DARN GOOD RULE OF THE [INAUDIBLE].
YOU KNOW, AND ANOTHER THING WITH THESE KIDS,
THEY ARE ABOUNDING WITH EVEN SKILLS.
I'VE SEEN A FOURTH GRADER THAT HAS TO HAVE SPECIAL ED
IN ENGLISH, NEEDS TO BE IN HIGH SCHOOL MATH.
IF YOU MAKE HIM DO BABY MATH, HIS GOING TO JUST MISBEHAVE
OR MAYBE HE'LL NEED SPECIAL ED.
MATH AND NEEDS TO BE, YOU KNOW, READING COLLEGE TEXTBOOKS.
YOU KNOW IN READING THEN LET HIM DO IT.
KEEP BUILDING ON THAT SKILL, YOU KNOW, I LOOK INTO ONES
THAT ARE SUCCESSFUL, THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN DONE.
WELL THERE'S A LOT OF INTERESTING STUFF OUT THERE,
HAVE YOU WONDERED HOW GOOGLE ACTUALLY WORKS?
DO YOU KNOW THAT WHEN YOU USE GOOGLE YOU ACTUALLY AREN'T EVEN
ON THE WILD INTERNET YOU'RE ACTUALLY
IN A GIGANTIC SERVER FARM?
BECAUSE GOOGLE HAS A PROGRAM THAT GOES OUT
AND COLLECTS ALL THE INFORMATION OFF ALL OF WEB PAGES
AROUND THE WORLD STORES IT IN THESE BIG WAREHOUSES FULL
OF MILLIONS OF COMPUTERS AND THEY'RE CALLED SERVER FARMS.
WELL IF YOU REALLY LIKE COMPUTERS YOU GOT
TO THINK THIS IS JUST, YOU KNOW, COMPUTER HEAVEN.
BUT WE GOT TO GET KIDS EXPOSED TO INTERESTING THINGS.
ONE OF MY BIG CONCERNS, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE IN THIS AREA
IN CALIFORNIA YOU'RE EXPOSED TO ALL THE TECHIE STUFF.
YOU KNOW, THERE'S A LOT OF ASPERGER'S GO RIGHT
IN SILICON VALLEY TO DO THIS GREAT AND NEVER DIAGNOSED
BUT TO GET OUT IN THE MIDWEST A LOT OF PEOPLE WORKING
ON EDUCATIONAL DON'T KNOW ANYTHING
ABOUT ANYTHING TECHNICAL, IT'S A BIG WORLD OUT THERE.
HOW DO YOU GET IN TO INTERESTING PLACES LIKE THAT?
YOU KNOW, IT'S ALL WHO YOU KNOW.
YOU GOT TO WORK ON FINDING THE BACK DOOR I'LL SHOW YOU--
AND, YOU KNOW, BUSINESS MAGAZINES WRITE THEM UP
AND THEY SAY [INAUDIBLE] IS UGLY.
WELL WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL I WENT BOARDING SCHOOL.
MY ROOMMATE JUST SWOON OVER THE BEATLES.
I REMEMBER WHEN THE BEATLES CAME OUT ON THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW,
CAROL SEES RINGO UP THERE AND SHE JUST GOES, OH, RINGO.
WELL, I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S REALLY INTO COMPUTERS AND WE GOT
TO TALK IN ABOUT SERVER FARMS.
MAN, IT WAS LIKE ROMANCE.
AND SHE'S GOING, OH, SERVER FARMS.
OH NIRVANA, COMPUTER NIRVANA.
WELL WE NEED TO HAVE PEOPLE LIKE THAT
OR YOU WOULDN'T EVEN HAVE ANY INTERNET.
YOU LIKE TO USE GOOGLE AND STUFF LIKE THAT BUT YOU GOT
TO HAVE PEOPLE ON THE SPECTRUM, YOU KNOW,
AND MAKE SOMETHING LIKE GOOGLE.
OH I'M SERIOUS.
AUTISM IS A CONTINUUM, GOING FROM YOU KNOW WHERE IS--
WHEN DOES GEEK AND NERD BECOME ASPERGER'S?
YOU KNOW WHAT, FROM MY OWN ASPERGER GEEK
AND NERD IS EXACTLY THE SAME THING.
AND THEN YOU GET DOWN TO NON-VERBAL.
SO YOU'RE GOING ALL THE WAY FROM VERY SEVERE ALL THE WAY
UP TO BRILLIANT SCIENTISTS, MUSICIANS, JOURNALISTS,
ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT THINGS.
WELL THEY DIDN'T LIKE FORTUNE,
THEY DIDN'T LIKE THE BUSINESS MAGAZINES GET, YOU KNOW,
IN THEIR AND PHOTOGRAPH MUCH BECAUSE THEY DON'T REALLY
LIKE TO HAVE THE NORMAL PEOPLE IN THERE.
BUT THE ONE THING THEY DIDN'T LET THEM PHOTOGRAPH WAS LOOK
AT ALL THESE ELECTRIC PANELS.
MAN THIS SERVER FARMS TAKE A LOT OF POWER.
SO THE NEXT THING THAT HAS TO BE FIGURED OUT IS HOW
TO GET RID OFF ALL THOSE ELECTRIC CORDS AND, YOU KNOW,
MAKE A MORE ENERGY FRIENDLY.
YOU KNOW, SOME ASPERGER'S GOT TO HAVE TO FIGURE THAT OUT.
[ LAUGHTER ]
SOME OF THE BEST SOCIAL INTERACTION I'VE EVER HAD WAS
WORKING ON CONSTRUCTION.
I LOVE WORKING WITH THE CONSTRUCTION GUYS.
I LOVE-- WE CAN JUST SPEND HOURS TALKING
ABOUT HOW TO BUILD STUFF.
ALSO I WAS A GOOD MEMORY OF THE LITTLE BOYS CLUB, YOU KNOW.
BECAUSE I GOT EMOTIONS BUT, YOU KNOW, CONSTRUCTION WORKERS SORT
OF REAL GET INTO THE 10-YEAR-OLD MODE AND WE GET TALKING
ABOUT THINGS LIKE WELL
AND ASTRONAUTS TOO CAN GET INTO THAT.
I READ THIS BOOK CALLED I HAVE TO RIDE A ROCKET.
AND ONE OF THE ASTRONAUTS,
IT WAS LIKE THE NASA UNOFFICIAL VERSION OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE
AND THE SPACE STATION AND I TALKED ALL ABOUT, YOU KNOW,
OF OUTERS PACE AND, YOU KNOW,
ALL OF KIND OF YOU KNOW WONDERFUL THINGS
BUT IT JUST WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE BOOK WITHOUT 25 PAGES
OF SHUTTLE TOILET MALFUNCTIONS.
[ LAUGHTER ]
AND. YES, SO I READ THE--
[ LAUGHTER ]
-- WE'RE NOT GOING TO ANY MORE OF THAT.
YEAH BUT IT WAS LIKE ONE SIDE SO INTELLECTUALLY COMPLEX BUT THEN,
YOU KNOW, THEY HAD GET INTO THE LITTLE BOY'S CLUB STUFF TOO.
NOW THE THING IS I-- WHEN I WAS A LITTLE KID, I WAS BROUGHT
UP WITH VERY CLEAR VALUES ABOUT RIGHT AND WRONG.
I DIDN'T SEE SPORTS PEOPLE BEHAVING BADLY
LIKE YOU DO TODAY.
LIKE THIS HORRIBLE MICHAEL VICK THING,
YOU KNOW SPORTS PEOPLE CHEATING AND THINGS LIKE THAT.
YOU KNOW, MOVIES AND THINGS WHEN I WAS A LITTLE KID
LIKE CLEAR CUT VALUES.
MY FAVORITE TV SHOW SUPER MAN
AND THE LONE RANGER WAS VERY CLEAR VALUES
ABOUT BEING A GOOD PERSON
AND A BAD PERSON IT'S ALL VERY, VERY CLEAR.
HOW ABOUT RELIGION?