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What explains the outsized success of autistic applicants to college

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the outsized success of autistic applicants to top colleges and universities. It explores how traits associated with autism, such as obsessive interests, hyperfocus, and pattern recognition, can be advantageous in the college admissions process and academic success.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] What explains the outsized success of autistic applicants to college?

  • Autistic individuals often have traits that are valued by top colleges, such as:
    • Obsessive interests and the ability to deeply focus on a topic (related to OCD)
    • Hyperfocus on areas of interest (related to ADHD)
    • Pattern recognition and systematic thinking (problem-solving skills)
    • Empathy for the greater good rather than individual experiences (social activism)
  • These traits allow autistic individuals to excel in the college application process and academic environment.

[02] How do autistic kids view and connect with each other at college?

  • Autistic kids feel a sense of relief and excitement when they meet each other, as they can connect by sharing ideas and knowledge rather than through typical social interactions.
  • They are drawn to each other's systematic thinking and ability to see patterns, which they find fascinating to learn about.
  • The author describes this as their "love language" - the process of teaching and learning about patterns.

[03] What are some examples of how autistic traits can lead to success?

  • A student from a poor area systematically researched the college application process and got into top schools like Duke and Princeton.
  • Autistic individuals can excel at tasks that require trial-and-error and obsessive focus, such as playing a musical instrument (like the cello) very well.
  • Autistic individuals' ability to predict social trends and group needs can make them effective leaders and social activists.
Shared by Daniel Chen ยท
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