Aspergers and Imagination

Rudy Simone


It is a gross misconception that people with Aspergers have no imagination. A great number of writers, directors, artists, more inventive engineers are on the spectrum. I personally know hundreds, through the course of my work, and through the many unknown but super-talented readers and Facebook friends I have that are Aspies (people with Aspergers). Psychologists who have observed kids with AS have labeled them as unimaginative, simply because they were not playing as society expects to see children play and have subsequently misunderstood what they've observed. I am not a clinician, but I can give you examples from my own life that refute this belief, and I know from talking to others that many Aspergians with vivid imaginations have shared this type of experience.

I didn't like dolls very much when I was little. They were big, awkward, and lacked realistic body parts. They didn't move, they didn't speak, or if they did, speech was limited. I much preferred Barbies, if they were the more modern rubbery kind. (The early ones were hard plastic.) But most of all, I liked making up stories. In my mind, I could create vast epic films that were three dimensional, had real characters that I could control, but that took on a life of their own. I could fly, gallop on horseback, perform magic spells, whatever I wanted. In my childhood,

I starred in more movies than Anjelina Jolie...and most nights couldn't wait to climb into bed so I could lie in the dark and do this undistracted by other people and their chatter, which to me often sounded like it was about nothing. (And still does, truth be told). This was from the earliest age I can remember, and before I was able to speak.

Coloring between the lines of a coloring book is pretty banal in comparison, don't you think? If I'd had the money and the connections, or supportive parents and teachers, perhaps I'd have become a Spielberg of sorts, but my creativity was thwarted, an that it didn't manifest in any significant physical way, apart from a lot of extra credit writing projects, a few shows I put on for my school, or having a pajama party so I could do my Carol Burnett impersonation for a captive audience. By age twelve I had read and wrote hundreds of stories, on paper and in my head.

Read what the community on ASN has to say about Imagination


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