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Spock is on the Spectrum


Kirk: Well, Mr. Spock, if we can't disguise you, we'll find some way of explaining you.

Spock: That should prove interesting. Spock is high on logic, struggles with a limited understanding of social interaction, wears the same blue shirt, and has a highly specialized job as Science Officer on the Enterprise. Many speak of Asperger’s as a disorder, but without it, we would probably not understand gravity (Sir Isaac Newton), have some of our most vivid movie experiences (Tim Burton), or even have the postal service (Benjamin Franklin), just to name a few ways these folks have enhanced our lives. Individuals with Asperger's have already made the world a better place. While my comments are purely speculative, I think it possible that Asperger’s is our next forward leap in evolution with Spock being the end result. Many of my Aspie clients are capable of things I could never achieve. These amazing kids include a computer graphics animator (age 13), an accomplished concert pianist (age 12), and a state chess champion (age 10). My adult Aspie friends are satellite programmers, physicians, and computer programmers. With the advent of technology and specialized sciences since the industrial revolution, these gifted and interesting individuals have advanced our society in profound ways. In the past they may have been termed nerds, geeks, or even retarded, but they are increasingly the drivers of our technological future. While highly speculative, you might consider Bill Gates’ role in our lives. We often seek a name or label for what’s wrong with someone. With the concept of neuro-diversity in mind, I urge us to consider what’s “right” with people first and build toward their strengths rather than focusing on their defects or shortcomings. I think we ought to be elevating and praising some of our "Spocks" rather than disguising or labeling them as disordered. My guess is that it would make the world an even better place.

From Star Trek: The Voyage Home

Gillian: Are you sure you won't change your mind?

Spock: Is there something wrong with the one I have?


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