What watching 'The Good Doctor' made me realize as a young man on the spectrum

By Ryan Lee | November 19, 2018

This guest blog post is by Ryan Lee. He recently won the Golden Goals Award for Best Young Community Advocate. To view his first contributing blog post click here, and his following one can be found here. To see his interview on SBSK.

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Watching The Good Doctor got me thinking. The main character Shaun Murphy not only has autism but also savant syndrome. Autistic savants seem to attract the most mainstream media attention because of their extraordinary gifts and abilities of analyzing and calculating and I sometimes wanted to be like that. However, not everyone on the spectrum turns out to be a savant and there's an idea and stereotype in some people's heads that autistic people are geniuses with extraordinary special talents. Also a very small amount of individuals on the spectrum turn out to be savants(yes it's very rare). I'm no genius (yes I said that, I didn't even take AP or Gifted classes in high school, never took Calculus and I wasn't even good at Statistics, but I don't care since everyone learns at their own pace), but I was able to attend and graduate college with decent grades even if it took me a bit longer than 4 years. I know my strengths and my weaknesses and I'm still trying to find out more about myself. I've written 2 articles on Autism Speaks and landed an interview on a famous program Special Books By Special Kids and I'm still trying to accomplish more. My point is, you don’t have to be a genius or have a special talent to contribute to society. Every individual on the spectrum like myself, including those who are nonverbal, has something they can contribute for the betterment of society. You just have to try and find out what it is.

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