Einstein, Newton and many more had Developmental Disorders

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , the causes of profound developmental disorders are unknown, although there is frequent family history . Within these types of disorders, the four most representative are usually included: autism, Asperger’s syndrome, Rett’s syndrome, and disintegrative disorder . Although all are considered profound developmental disorders, there are many differences between them.

The protagonist of the film Rain Man, played by Dustin Hoffman, is inspired by real cases of people with autism, especially Kim Peek, who had such a visual memory that he earned the nickname Kimputer. Difficulty in both verbal and non-verbal communication, poor imagination, a poor repertoire of activities and interests, and the lack of eye contact, are some of the characteristics that we can observe in the protagonist of the film.


Other famous people you know from TV

But if we compare this character with some others with a profound developmental disorder, such as Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang series or the protagonist, Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium trilogy, we see that there are many differences between them, such as the level of intellectual. This is because autism is usually associated in 75% of cases with an intellectual disability, whereas Asperger’s syndrome is usually associated with high abilities.

Both Sheldon and Lisbeth have communication problems , difficulties in socializing, and an inability to understand the emotions of others, as well as being clumsy on a motor level and presenting stereotypes. These characters are not the only ones with this disorder, there are even researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford who believe that both Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton had symptoms of Asperger syndrome.

Rett syndrome occurs only in girls, having a normal onset until the first symptoms appear in the second half of the first year of life. There is stiffness in the trunk and poor head growth, with loss of intentional movement of the hands and stereotypes. In disintegrative disorder , the initial stage of development is normal and it is after two years of age that the abilities acquired up to that moment begin to be lost, including the loss of language.


Studies on autism

There is currently very encouraging news in relation to autism , for example one about a study carried out by a team of experts from the University of North Carolina (USA). For two years they have been testing 92 children under two years of age , who had older siblings with autism, which is considered a high risk factor, being able to observe abnormalities related to the amount and organization of the white matter and with the interconnections cerebral . After two years, 30% met the criteria to diagnose an autism spectrum disorder. This is very important, because an early diagnosis will allow an intervention program to be carried out from the first years , even before the disorder manifests itself.

Leave a Reply