I love CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. If you have a kid on the spectrum, particularly one with Asperger’s, you need to watch this show! You’ll thank me. The most important thing is that it's funny. I'm all about the funny. The bonus feature is that one of the main characters, Sheldon Cooper, has many traits you might expect a high-functioning adult on the spectrum to have. He has problems interpreting social cues, he’s highly intelligent, and he needs a strict routine, among other things. Sheldon is a theoretical physicist who lives with his colleague, who happens to also be his best friend. The viewer gets to see the interaction and dynamic Sheldon has with his peers and friends.
The other day I came across an article about a 12-year old boy that could literally be Sheldon Cooper in real life, minus the funny sitcom. Jacob Barnett was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism spectrum disorder. He learned algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus all in one week! Jacob left high school at the age of eight to attend Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to study advanced astrophysics. He is so smart, his IQ is actually higher than Albert Einstein's! At the age of 12, Jacob is developing and expanding upon the theory of relativity. His work on debunking the big bang theory could land him a PhD research position.
Can you believe this? It’s simply incredible! My mind is blown merely contemplating how my 8-year old son is in second grade and this kid was in college at the same age. Un.real. Although most kids with autism won't have anything close to his savant abilities, it gives me hope for what children can achieve when given the proper chance and environment. Hooray for Jacob! Maybe he'll get the Nobel Prize some day. Wouldn't that be cool?