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Gareth Cook

The truth about autism

By Gareth Cook
Globe Columnist / November 6, 2011

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There is, living among us, a group of people with remarkable intellectual gifts.They excel at spotting patterns despite huge distractions. They are able to discern subtle changes in sounds that escape most people. In their mind’s eye, they can readily flip and rotate complex three dimensional shapes. Their memory is exceptional. And, one researcher found, they can rocket through a classic intelligence test, known as Raven’s Matrices, completing it 40 percent faster than the general population. Science has a name for these people. It is “autistic.’’

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