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A Mind that Works Like Google Images

The first time I read “Thinking in Pictures” by Dr. Temple Grandin, I realized that her experience and her campaign to share her personal story as a woman with Autism has come at a deeply critical time—when parents and educators are struggling to reach and teach the rapidly rising numbers of children diagnosed with Austim Spectrum Disorder. It was a catchphrase from her TED lecture that stopped me dead in my tracks. She said “My mind works like Google Images.”

It makes be physically ill to contemplate the number of children across the spectrum with severe autism to mild Asperger's who will be made to feel as though they are somehow deficient when the only deficiency is the system’s understanding of how to present the information. Minds on the autistic spectrum are specialized—compartmentalized. The one common denominator of all Autistic and Asperger's thinking is that details are associated into categories in order to form a concept, much like piecing a jigsaw puzzle together. The picture on the puzzle can be seen when only 20 percent of the puzzle is put together, forming a big picture. Dr.Grandin describes how visual thinkers like herself think in specific photographs—some in pictures, others in full motion video.

I’ll continue to devour information on Autism, Asperger's and visual learning as I am convinced that one piece of the puzzle solution lies somewhere in the world of display technology (existing or forthcoming) put in the hands of educators sufficiently trained to use it. It is my hope that this growing population will flourish, and not be cheated of their chance because of unenlightened ideas and utter misconceptions.