Study: For Those With Autism, Fixations Can Be Beneficial

Parents and teachers should do more to embrace the preferred interests of those with autism, researchers say, pointing out that such aptitudes can be calming and form the basis for careers.

Individuals on the spectrum often display intense interests in topics like computers, animals or trains. Traditionally, many experts thought that such preferences might inhibit social development.

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Consuelo Martinez watches her daughter Chelsea, who has autism, play the violin. New research suggests that the intense interests that many people on the spectrum have should be encouraged. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)