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Autism Linked to More Creativity


A British study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders has revealed that people with autism spectrum disorder may actually have certain advantages in the creative and problem solving spheres, Latinos Health reports.

Scientists from the University of East Anglia and the University of Stirling in Scotland conducted the research.

The study revealed autistic children can do well in problem solving and are more creative compared to those who have no symptoms of autism.

The study was conducted on 312 participants, 75 of which were diagnosed with autism. The non-autistic participants were those who were identified as either borderline autistic or had "sub-threshold autistic traits."

According to Reuters, the researchers tested the creative skills and the problem-solving skills of the participants by showing them a series of abstract images and asking them to give their interpretation of the images. The volunteers were also asked to provide as many uses as they could think of objects of everyday use.

Reuters reported the study found that people without any indication of autism showed more responses than the other participants. However, the individuals who said they were diagnosed with autism and the individuals without a diagnosis who exhibited many traits of the disorder gave lesser, yet more unusual answers.

"We think that perhaps the people with autistic traits use more effortful methods to produce answers to divergent thinking tasks (not based on obvious word associations or common uses for similar items) and therefore come up with fewer but better responses," said lead author Dr. Catherine Best of the University of Stirling in the U.K., in email to Reuters Health.

Meanwhile,Temple Grandin, an autism activist and researcher from Colorado State University, told Reuters health, via email, "If all the autism traits were removed, we would lose many creative minds in music, art, math, and science."

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