Feedback and Notes

 

Imagine No Religion

Latest Activity

Stephen commented on Anti_Doone's group North and South American Friends, Africa, EurAsia and Australia Continents and some Poor Country Suffering from Scumpism News
4 hours ago
Suzanna commented on Anti_Doone's group North and South American Friends, Africa, EurAsia and Australia Continents and some Poor Country Suffering from Scumpism News
5 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Anti_Doone's group North and South American Friends, Africa, EurAsia and Australia Continents and some Poor Country Suffering from Scumpism News
8 hours ago
Stephen commented on Anti_Doone's group North and South American Friends, Africa, EurAsia and Australia Continents and some Poor Country Suffering from Scumpism News
8 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Anti_Doone's group North and South American Friends, Africa, EurAsia and Australia Continents and some Poor Country Suffering from Scumpism News
8 hours ago
Stephen commented on Anti_Doone's group North and South American Friends, Africa, EurAsia and Australia Continents and some Poor Country Suffering from Scumpism News
8 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Anti_Doone's group North and South American Friends, Africa, EurAsia and Australia Continents and some Poor Country Suffering from Scumpism News
9 hours ago
Stephen commented on Anti_Doone's group North and South American Friends, Africa, EurAsia and Australia Continents and some Poor Country Suffering from Scumpism News
9 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Anti_Doone's group North and South American Friends, Africa, EurAsia and Australia Continents and some Poor Country Suffering from Scumpism News
9 hours ago
Stephen commented on Anti_Doone's group North and South American Friends, Africa, EurAsia and Australia Continents and some Poor Country Suffering from Scumpism News
9 hours ago
Stephen left a comment for Zachary Konopa
9 hours ago
Stephen left a comment for T.J. Thomas
9 hours ago
Stephen left a comment for husain
9 hours ago
Stephen left a comment for Austin P
9 hours ago
Stephen left a comment for Anand Prithvi
9 hours ago
Stephen left a comment for abdulrahman aliyu
9 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Hope's group Imagine No Religion, Please!
10 hours ago
Stephen commented on Hope's group Imagine No Religion, Please!
10 hours ago
Stephen posted a blog post
17 hours ago
Mrs.B commented on Adriana's group Freethought and Funny Bones
21 hours ago

We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Golf, where nothing is impossible, has healed my autism. Over the years I have learned something about the Scottish sport, which I have quietly and firmly adapted to my own uses. When everything in your life is uncertain, there’s nothing quite like the clarity and precision of a fresh tee and a tough green.

 

Golf can make you a better person and put life in perspective. It was the ancient and royal Scottish sport that helped me to discover that I had a mind, a voice of my own, numbers, language – a more thoughtful reflective, insightful language – and a special talent for connecting data. Golf is exciting because it is full of things I can calculate. I can use observation to predict golfers’ behavior from an otherwise incomprehensible action.

 

I was born and raised in a town called La Banda, Santiago del Estero, Argentina. Public schools were followed by three years of college in Buenos Aires. As an autistic person in the 1970s, I was captivated by numbers. I have what in 1943 the child psychiatrist Leo Kanner called "autistic aloneness." But I cannot on any account be sorry for myself: since childhood I had a gift for memorizing almost anything I turned my attention to. It is called photographic memory.

 

In the 1980s, wandering aimless in Buenos Aires, I stumbled upon a golf course. In 1988, I met Roberto De Vicenzo, the Argentine Golfer Legend, and winner of 230 golf tournaments, including the 1967 Open Championship at Hoylake. Just a year later, I began teaching History of Golf at the PGA of Argentina. In 1994, I went to work as Librarian and Museum curator at the Argentina Golf Association (A.A.G.) 

 

Golf was not simply a game. It has developed central areas of my left brain like numbers, math and systematization: using statistical methods, giving special attention to the role played by creativity, golf taught me to always let my well-educated instinct be my guide. At the A.A.G., I became familiar with almost every important golf magazine published in America and Europe in the twentieth century. The comparison of techniques and swing-theories was appealing to my creativity. It was in the pages of Golf Digest and Golf World that I first encountered the possibility of studying a new language besides my mother tongue, Spanish. Without instruction, I outlined the basic grammar of the English language that might, at some future point, change the neurological structure of a brain built-wrong. The payoff has been immeasurable: English has given me a new life.

 

Although autism is diagnosed in one among eighty-eight children in America, neurologists understand almost nothing about it. They are seeking to describe only features that appear on the surface, its lack of social skills and repetitive behaviors. But difficulties in social interaction are just the tip of the iceberg. In the natural framework of autism, the left-brain appears to be inoperative.

 

Maybe golf so captured my mind for the very reason that it is a preeminently left-brain sport. So, too, is the golf swing: its elementary principles of grip, stance, balance and pivot were discovered by the scientific method of observation, experiment, and reasoning. The swing is not a natural movement. It is especially difficult to take on all its fundaments at once. If we incorporate images and metaphors into a teaching – that are easily relatable to the golfers' mind – we are more likely than not to learn the abstract principles of swinging a club.

 

Since some individuals with autism use visual mental representations and processes to function credibly in society – tasks that typically developing individuals perform verbally – I began to intuit, to deduce and elaborate a “theory” about what makes a champion. Golfers’ creativity is something other than what can be observed. It's like unlocking a language that we're trying to understand — the language of what makes champions different. What impelled me to come to America was my need to articulate and publish this theory.

 

Times changed. Circumstances changed. In the 200os, I decided to travel in order to create myself anew. I had a stellar career as a Golf Historian in Argentina, but I sold my apartment in Buenos Aires and moved to Hartford, CT. My willingness to cross cultural lines, and all the tensions I put myself through in doing so, may well have been shaped within the game. I wish now that golf would provide answers to questions that autistics do not know how to ask and find features that were not yet even conceived.

 

My story was featured in Golf Digest magazine, July 2013. Here is the link:

 

http://www.golfdigest.com/magazine/2013-07/golf-saved-my-life-claud...

 

 

Views: 927

Nice Comment

You need to be a member of Atheist Universe to add comments!

Join Atheist Universe

Comment by Chris on October 9, 2016 at 5:17am

Have you ever played golf with [black] golf balls in snow? If not it's kind of fun.

I'm kind of dumb, but it seems to me that the most important thing of the game is having fun.

Comment by Chris on September 18, 2016 at 7:10pm

There are many different types of intellegence.
Unfortunately many school systems don't know how to nuture people who think outside the box.

I think there are more than seven, or nine that is commonly reported.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_multiple_intelligences

Ning is still hanging.

Comment by Jacqueline Little on July 18, 2013 at 2:47pm

Just don't call him that

Comment by Claudia Mercedes Mazzucco on July 17, 2013 at 1:45pm

Near the end of World War II, Asperger opened a school for children with autistic psychopathy, with Sister Victorine. The school was bombed towards the end of the war, Sister Victorine was killed, the school was destroyed and much of Hans Asperger's early work was lost. It was this event that arguably delayed the understanding of autism spectrum conditions in the west.

Comment by Claudia Mercedes Mazzucco on July 17, 2013 at 12:53pm

Doctor Hans Asperger was a Viennese child psychologist who published the first definition of Asperger syndrome in 1944.

Asperger’s point here simply was that the actual cause of a child being self-centered is an intense absorption in a special interest, for example dinosaurs, which make them a monothematic (having one single fixed interest, capable of focusing only in that interest) even when they are not actually studying the subject. Asperger called children with AS "little professors" because of their ability to talk about their favorite subject in great detail. But the potential effect of being absorbed in a single interest could be a one-sided conversation, lack of empathy and little ability to form friendships. Hence, if empathy is being built in the process of actually social interaction, we all must develop the ability to know the other, which means always an extrinsic openness to different minds and a diversity of ideas.

In an investigation based on more of 400 children, Dr. Asperger identified a pattern of behavior and abilities that he called "autistic psychopathy", meaning autism (self) and psychopathy (personality disease). But here there is an important distinction. Many of these children had an art they did use subsequently in adulthood. Dr. Asperger followed one child, Fritz V., into adulthood. Fritz V. became a professor of astronomy and solved an error in Newton’s work he originally noticed as a child. Hans Asperger’s positive outlook contrasts strikingly with Leo Kanner's description of autism, of which Asperger's is often considered to be a high-functioning form. That is why I think that the distinction between “Asperger” and “Autism” is indispensable to unlock the mystery and to the understanding of real disabilities in the thinking process of an autistic brain.

Comment by Michel on July 16, 2013 at 12:34pm

Comment by Michel on July 16, 2013 at 12:32pm

You definitely have a knack for writing, Claudia. I usually enjoy reading you even when I disagree or when you snap at us =)

BTW, 'normal' can be safely defined in terms of statistical frequency. Most people recognize other people's face, most people have fleeting memory, most people easily learn the skills required to socialize... And of course, 'normal' is local and can change. So when 'normal' is invoked it needs to be qualified to make any sense.

Comment by Claudia Mercedes Mazzucco on July 16, 2013 at 11:14am

Davy, I am aware that Aspergers is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Nevertheless, Asperger Syndrome is the mildest form of ASD. It is rather a problem with socialization and communication. It seems to me that if a person with classic autism were able to report their symptoms and articulate what it is like to be autistic, the NIH would certainly be rethinking and redefining their list of NINDS Disorders.

Comment by Claudia Mercedes Mazzucco on July 16, 2013 at 10:50am

What is normal, Jacqueline? How would you define a “normal” person? Far from giving them a title, “Aspie” is a title they have given to themselves.

Comment by Jacqueline Little on July 15, 2013 at 8:32pm

My big brother is by no means NORMAL. But when I was younger, I thought he was the coolest person alive. Don't call him An 'aspie' he's a person. Don't give him a title.  -_-

© 2018   Created by Atheist Universe.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service