Autism and Memory

Is there any theory that explains the fantastic memory some autistic individuals exhibit?

Ataide Carlos Ribeiro do Nascimento, Psychiatrist, Joinville (SC), Brazil. April 21, 1997

Austistic individuals really present, not only a surprising memory, but also other extraordinary abilities that are not exhibited by the majority of people, including mathematical calculus [ability], and artistic and musical abilities.

As related to memory, they are capable of remember and to respond promptly, for example, at which day of the week the 4th of April, 1958, was. They also can remember the birthday and death-day of friends or public persons, as presidents and their families. They also can remember people they haven't seen in more than 20 or 30 years.

The reason which some autistic individuals present such abilities is still unknown. It is possible to think in a compensation of specialized brain regions given the deficience of others.There are several theories about it, but no evidence to sustain any of them. Dr. Rimland of the Center for the Study of Autism, in the USA, speculates that these individuals "have an incredible ability of concentration and can completely focus their attention on one specific area of interest."

Silvia Helena Cardoso, PhD, Psicobióloga, Campinas (SP).

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Silvia Helena Cardoso, PhD


Copyright 1997 Universidade Estadual de Campinas