The link between child prodigies and autism

Why can some kids play a Beethoven sonata at age three or compete against adults in chess while still in the first grade? A 2012 study in the journal Intelligence found that it isn’t only genius that makes one a prodigy:

While each of the prodigies demonstrated an at least moderately elevated level of intelligence, the prodigies’ full scale IQ scores were not consistently on the extreme end of the spectrum.Whatwas consistently extraordinary, however,was the child prodigies’ working memory scores–a category in which every prodigy tested in the 99th percentile. Additional results suggest a previously unknown connection between child prodigies and autism. The prodigies’ family histories yielded an unlikely number of autistic relatives.

Kerri is talking to Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree, about child prodigies tomorrow morning.

If you have child with extraordinary gifts in your family, what is it like to nurture that talent? Does it sometimes feel like a burden?

And if you have a child with autism, does he or she display any unusual talents?

Watch Nico Muhly, one of the subjects of Solomon’s book, talk about being a prodigy: