A new study has shown that people who have autism have higher levels of creativity. The scientific community has welcomed the findings with open arms as the study should help people change their perception of people who have learning disabilities.
Tests and experiments conducted by the research team have revealed that people who have autism are much more likely to think of unique answers when asked to solve a creative problem.
Many would not necessarily expect these results as autism patients often have socially crippling traits that not only make it hard for them to form relationships, but also to find a job.
Dr Catherine Best, study co-author and field expert from the University of Stirling, gave a statement explaining that she and her colleagues looked at 312 people with autism only measured one (1) aspect related ton the creative process, however it was enough to reveal a link between original and unusual ideas, and autistic traits.
She went on to add that the researchers “speculate that it may be because they are approaching things very differently. It goes a way towards explaining how some people with what is often characterized as a disability exhibit superior creative talents in some domains”.
Celebrities such as Daryl Hannah, actress, and Cian Binchy, actor, have already spoken publicly about their autism and how it helps them at their job. But the new study should offer creative industries scientific proof on the matter.
Binchy even gave a statement after reading about the new study. He said that he is the only person with a learning disability set to perform at the Edinburgh festival, later this week, and stressed that there generally aren’t many people with learning disabilities in this field.
One possible explanation is that people who have learning disabilities may need a little extra support and unfortunately, most theatre companies and fellow performers can’t be bothered to offer it because they find it too challenging.
The young actor firmly believes that it’s high time for people who have learning disabilities to be seen as people first and foremost. He also wants to educate people who do not have learning disabilities and help them understand the he is not all that different from them, as well as provide a positive example for other people with learning disabilities and let them know that “they are not alone”.
Binchy started out working at the National Theatre, on The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, as an autism consultant. He then trained in the arts with the help of Access All Areas, a renowned theatre company which supports adults who have learning disabilities and has won several awards for its efforts.
Access All Areas is also the only company in the UK that runs a professional training program for people with learning disabilities who want to get into the creative arts industry.
Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of Ambitious about Autism, a charity, also had good things to say about the findings. She is happy that researchers are finally disproving wide held beliefs that autistic people lack creativity, empathy and are antisocial.
Autism is a disorder which affects one (1) in 100 people in the UK alone. It changes the way they communicate and the way they experience the world, but the specific ways in which they are affected vary immensely from person to person.
The study was published recently, in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
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