Non-human “peers” for gifted adults – books, music, and famous people like us?

One of the typical stresses of gifted people is not feeling like one has enough friends.

Other people seem to do it so easily! How do they go out to bars like that, connect so easily, bond.

Even when you really want that, it can be hard to come across the kind of people with whom it happens naturally. One might find them, but they could live elsewhere. I know of several people with whom I’ve connected effortlessly, the way most people seem to connect to friends in person; they just don’t live near me. If you’re unusual, it’s harder finding people like you.

So this brings me to an interesting comment from the SENG December newsletter on how it might not be such a problem if gifted children have only few friends:

The author writes that Legos, books and other activities can provide a “peer” experience for gifted children.

Wow, that opens up a whole new world!

Do peers really need to be living people you see in person?

It’s good to have friends in person simply because we are social creatures and in-person interaction does all sorts of things to our bodies. However, connection with people who don’t get you quite enough (who aren’t over a threshold where you can relax because you understand each other well enough) can be somewhat stressful and might not provide the deep comfort and understanding that comes from having real peers.

Gifted adults might fill-in for this missing peer experience with other sources:


Music (I’ve always had a deep peer experience with Brahms, most likely an Aspie, who seems to choose exactly what sounds good to me; feels like some sort of brain similarity there, more so than with most composers. Also very fond of the contemporary composer Robin Holloway.)

In fact, gifted people need only to check the list of gifted or Asperger’s celebrities to find a number of potential peers.

Consuming the art and products produced by these people really does seem to fill in the gap and help us to feel less alone in the world.

It is often such a welcome revelation that there are other people out there who think like us.

List of famous people with (likely) Asperger’s:

When I read this list, I get so excited, because I realize that Asperger’s could be an organizing principle to help me discover more and more people like me. I’ve been a huge fan of many of these people independently, and I get excited to check out those on the list with whom I’m unfamiliar. It’s like hitting a jackpot!


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