“What is Autism?” How is it defined? Researchers at the University of Edinburgh are involved in a unique multi-year project aimed at trying to understand social cognition in autism. This story reveals a remarkable group of women who are all autistic. They discuss their very personal struggles and journeys in a world that sometimes see them as “others.”  

The project — which is very narrow in focus with a particular group of research participants —  hopes to help refine what autism may mean and its implications for some of those who struggle with it. The project presents a “re-conceptualization of intelligence within a framework of neurodiversity,” say its researchers, “challenging the notion there is only one legitimate form of human intelligence.” The project hopes to shift the paradigm of autism: to see it as a “difference” rather than a disability.

By Richard Sergay


  • Richard Sergay is an award-winning veteran network television journalist and senior media executive who spent much of his career at ABC News. He reported on major domestic and international stories for World News, Nightline and Good Morning America and ABC Radio. Richard completed a six-year assignment as Bureau Chief and Correspondent based in South Africa covering the end of White rule and Apartheid, as well as the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and the ensuing peace negotiations. After the South Africa assignment, Richard began a new beat for ABC News – the first for any major network --  focused on the digital revolution unfolding in the U.S.