…[A]ncestors with autism played an important role in their social groups through human evolution because of their unique skills and talents. Going back thousands of years, people who displayed autistic traits would not only have been accepted by their societies, but could have been highly respected.
Many people with autism have exceptional memory skills, heightened perception in realms of vision, taste and smell and in some contexts, an enhanced understanding of natural systems such as animal behaviour. And the incorporation of some of these skills into a community would have played a vital role in the development of specialists.
…[I]t’s no wonder that including autism [in our evolutionary past] – something which is still seen as a “disorder” by some – is considered to be controversial.
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