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5 TED Talks to Help Us Understand Autism

  • The World Needs All Kinds of Minds
  • What We Know (And What We Don’t Know Yet)
  • A Word Game to Communicate in Any Language
  • The Forgotten History of Autism
  • How Autism Freed Me

Autism may be diagnosed more often today, but there are still a number of people who do not understand this disorder. TED Talks offer a way to understand disorders like autism through leaders in the autistic community, doctors and family members. Through these TED Talks about autism, individuals can learn about the disorder and spread awareness.

Related resource: 10 Best Online RBT (Registered Behavioral Technician) Training Programs

5 Top TED Talks for Understanding Autism

1. The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

Temple Grandin’s TED Talk quickly became popular online because of its explanation of autism. In her talk, she discusses how her mind works differently than other minds. She thinks visually and sees patterns in the world around her. This has led to a remarkable career working with animals. She is now a professor and a consultant. For many people, Grandin is an inspiration. She has become a legend for being one of the first people to publicly speak about an autism diagnosis.

2. What We Know (and What We Don’t Know yet)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of 59 children has been diagnosed with autism. Unfortunately, there are still a number of things that scientists do not know about the disorder. In this TED Talk, geneticist Wendy Chung discusses the latest research on autism and where that research is headed next.

3. A Word Game to Communicate in Any Language

This TED Talk will appeal to anyone with autism or their family members. In his presentation, Ajit Narayanan discusses a new language program that he created. He named it FreeSpeech because it was designed to help children who have difficulties communicating. There are pictures in the app for children that use images to think instead of words. In addition, the unique app is designed to create concepts and words into maps that the child can use.

4. The Forgotten History of Autism

Some disorders have been discussed and studied by doctors for hundreds of years. In the case of autism, the medical history only stretches back to 1944. Steve Silberman discusses how Hans Asperger first wrote about the disorder and how it has been misunderstood ever since that time. While a clinical test and increasing awareness of autism have made it easier to diagnose, there are still prevalent myths about this disorder and what causes it.

5. How Autism Freed Me

When someone is diagnosed with autism, well-intentioned teachers, parents and loved ones may try to teach them how to be normal. In this TED Talk, a 16-year-old girl completely challenges that way of thinking. Rosie King was diagnosed with autism, but she rejects the idea that she should learn to be a normal, average teenager. This intelligent, practical girl wants to know why everyone is so obsessed with making children the same when diversity is humanity’s greatest strength.

Designed to educate and spread great ideas, TED offers some of the best discussions of autism today. From providing the latest genetic research to delving into the disorder’s history, these TED Talks about autism provide a deeper insight into what life with autism is like.