People usually call autistics as “lonely angles” in the world. They are special since they cannot communicate with others normally and always live in the world of themselves. They need to depend on the help from others, or they can hardly live an ordinary life. Thus, when I read the article Thinking in Pictures, I was quite surprised that the author, who has an autism, could write such an article to express her thoughts to the public.
Personally, I think the thinking patterns of autistics are indeed strange but advantageous. They can translate everything into pictures and visual feelings in their minds. It means that they can recall things much easily and vividly than people who do not have the ability of visual thinking. When they consider some future plans, autistics can also visualize some clear pictures about them. For me, I appreciate this ability since I think having a visual library in mind is wonderful. I can remember all the beautiful things and people visually (although may also keep something painful in mind) and memorize English words easily when I take GRE test. When I was in high school, teachers also asked students to develop the ability of visualizing words when reading books, especially for fictions and poems. The visual thinking way can help people make the world lively and beautiful.
However, the visual thinking pattern also arouses some problems of cognition for autistics. Except for the difficulty of visualizing some abstract words, which was referred in the article, I think this thinking pattern also makes autistics have more problems and obstacles during the communication process with others. Although they can visualize people’s words into pictures, they can only hold their pictures in minds and hardly express their thoughts using words and sentences. Since people with autism originally have language barrier, it becomes more difficult for them to communicate in words with this visual thinking way.
The article and related blogs about autism remind me of the movie Rain Man, which talks about a story about two brothers and autism. In the movie, although Raymond has autism and cannot live by himself, he has a gift for memory and calculating. This gift, which may be caused by the visual thinking pattern, makes Raymond a talent in many places, especially for the casinos in Las Vegas. Thus, we can see that although autistics are always silent, lonely, and have difficulties in expressing themselves, they still have gifts for memory and visualizing, which make them also become “talented angles” in the world. (Sophie)