Ben
Apr 24, 2018

was Grant autisitic??

3 comments

This has been a curiosity of mine for quite some time. as many know in grant's time there was no recognition of autism. although it's easy to associate behaviors with a condition, grant, at least on the surface, seems to have exhibited some traits that could coincide with mild autism. Stern, expressionless staring, shyness in public and public speaking, photographic memory of terrain, strategic thinking, aversion to music, Imperturbability in desperate situations, ability to clearly write from memory in a short period of time (ie memoirs) and under duress. There are of course many traits that seem to point otherwise such as his ability to display empathy and tenderness especially with family. although his empathetic response to death seems to be solidly controlled most of the time he was documented at having the occasional breakdown (ie wilderness). He was also averse to surgery and blood and reportedly obsessive about his meat preparation. Whether or not he had mild autism, grant would have had no other option in his time than to adapt and overcome to be functional.

 

Kathy Kelley
Apr 24, 2018

Do you mean autistic? You wrote autisitic; I'm not familiar with that term. This seems like it would be a fascinating topic for research. I wonder if any Grant scholars have made this connection?

Tim Gaffney Jr.
Apr 25, 2018

there are valid points on this subject of grant possibly having autism. The stuff he experienced and expressed seem to be along those lines of a person being a high-functioning autism. I know and seen various degrees of autism and the average person would be surprise just how high-functioning some people may be with this disorder. if grant did have an undiagnosed version of autism or some other disorder that could be explained, still shows how great of a man he was to adopt and overcome the obstacles in his life.

Kathy Kelley
Apr 25, 2018

Yes Tim--you make a very good observation. As if President Grant didn't have enough challenges and setbacks to overcome, throughout his entire life----it's amazing if he had all those achievements while also coping with some form of autism. In reading Ron Chernow's "Grant", I was overwhelmed, Not just by President Grant's obvious brilliance, but by his kindness, and his ability to have great empathy for others, often while in the midst of his own suffering. I kept thinking, what a terrible injustice this incredible man received in history, and I am so happy that he is now receiving the recognition, and appreciation, he so richly deserves.

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