There is a fine line between genius and madness. When I was a little girl, we lived next door to a genius, truly a genius, a scientist for a very prominent company. I was too little to understand; I just knew he was very smart.
Then, one day, this man started to roam the streets, picking up bits of trash. I overheard the gossip that he had snapped, suffered a mental breakdown.
He never recovered; he was in and out of a well known asylum and never worked again. There was the stigma; just leave him alone, if you see him walking by, just let him be.
The mind is an intriguing thing. There are fine lines that make a continent of difference.
Such is the boundary with autism.
Autism is not mental deficiency; quite the contrary, many autistic children show exemplary skill in specific areas. Words and numbers come easily; speech and emotions are a challenge.
The term idiot savant used to be used……one can only imagine how many gifted minds were labeled as idiots and left to languish in asylums. How many gifted minds were just left to be, nothing more, just existing in a void of human interaction and attention. How many dark prisons held minds and bodies prisoner, making a body trapped by one’s mind, now a body trapped by a locked cell……….
The line between genius and madness is often blurred.
It is time we looked upon these children with clear, not blurred vision and see the promise each one has to offer in our world. With our care and interaction, not our fear and condescension, their gifted minds will not live in locked shadows, but in compassionate light.
One day, we will erase those lines, eradicate those shadows, and shine light into the regions of our minds now not understood.