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Aspergers and Autism Prevalent in Silicon Valley

Wow. I never really believed Cerberus' fascination with Pokémon was related to Asperger's. Apparently, I was wrong.

These days, the autistic fascinations with technology, ordered systems, visual modes of thinking, and subversive creativity have plenty of outlets. There's even a cheeky Asperger's term for the rest of us - NTs, "neurotypicals." Many children on the spectrum become obsessed with VCRs, Pokémon, and computer games, working the joysticks until blisters appear on their fingers. (In the diagnostic lexicon, this kind of relentless behavior is called "perseveration.") Even when playing alongside someone their own age, however, autistic kids tend to play separately. Echoing Asperger, the director of the clinic in San Jose where I met Nick, Michelle Garcia Winner, suggests that "Pokémon must have been invented by a team of Japanese engineers with Asperger." Attwood writes that computers "are an ideal interest for a person with Asperger's syndrome ... they are logical, consistent, and not prone to moods."

This is an old article, but one I hadn't read before, talking about the rising number of kids with Asperger's Syndrome and Autism in the Silicon Valley.

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