Contrary to the popular belief, a new study has shown that people with autism display higher levels of creativity.
Researchers say that people with autism were far more likely to come up with unique answers to creative problems despite having traits that can be socially crippling and make it difficult to find jobs.
While the results were a measure of just one aspect of the creative process, it revealed a connection between autistic traits and unusual and original ideas.
"We speculate that it may be because they are approaching things very differently. It goes a way towards explaining how some people with what is often characterised as a disability exhibit superior creative talents in some domains," said Dr Catherine Best from the University of Stirling, co-author of the study.
Daryl Hannah, who admitted she has autism, said, "It's time people with autism and other learning difficulties are seen as people first. I want to educate people without learning disabilities that I'm not all that different to them, and I want people who do have learning disabilities to feel better about themselves by showing my problems. They are not alone."
The findings were published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.