One aspect of contemporary family life that has touched all of us is the prevalence of autism, and today we’re going to explore a fascinating new area of study that could potentially improve our understanding of autism. My guest today is journalist and author Kimberly Stephens, coauthor of a new book called The Prodigy’s Cousin: The Family Link Between Autism and Extraordinary Talent. Her coauthor, psychologist and researcher Joane Ruthsatz, who just happens to be Kimberly’s mother, has spent 18 years studying child prodigies. This research represents the largest research sample of these exceptional kids in the world. Incredibly, Dr. Ruthsatz’s research has found that many of these child prodigies have autistic family members. In fact, around half of child prodigies have a close relative that is autistic. Interestingly, they also have a lot of behavioural and cognitive things in common as well.
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