What Child Prodigies and Autistic People Have in Common

Maia Shalavitz
Time

A study of eight child prodigies finds that they have some striking characteristics in common, most notably high levels of autistic traits and an overrepresentation of autism in their close family members.

Child prodigies evoke awe, wonder and sometimes jealousy: how can such young children display the kinds of musical or mathematical talents that most adults will never master, even with years of dedicated practice? Lucky for these despairing types, the prevailing wisdom suggests that such comparisons are unfair — prodigies are born, not made (mostly). Practice alone isn’t going to turn out the next 6-year-old Mozart.

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