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The term, “The Autistic Void” originates from Dr. Temple Grandin.  Dr. Grandin refers to “The Autistic Void” as a place where people with autism and/or Aspergers focus in a self-stemming way enticed by their favorite focus or dominating interest.  At times, this may even be something which involves learning or originating around their senses.  For instance, a compulsion to learn everything about geography, looking at colored lights, or a particular sound such as wood tapping.  Due to these neurological conditions, people with autism and/or Asperger’s reward centers of the brain are wired differently than those who do not have these conditions.  As a result, they can be completely internally reward within their own brain rather than by interacting with the outside world the way people without autism are able to do.  Some kids who have autism and/or Aspergers have been referred to as: “being able to play with air and be completely satisfied”.

Dr. Grandin use to say that she loved the sound of a spinning quarter.  She could watch it and listen to it for hours; it captivated her attention.  Dr. Grandin also said that you have to keep the person with autism out of the autistic void.  She points to her own success in life beginning when her mother hiring a nanny, and told the nanny to, “Play games with her.  Play games with her.  Play games with her!”  She attributes what the nanny following through with this as what kept her out of that autistic void where she could interact and learn from the world around her.   The reason it is so important to keep kids out of that void (not entirely because their interests are their way of releasing emotions and decompressing from stress) is because learning for a person cannot occur while the person with autism and/or Aspergers is trapped within their own self stemming interests which is why Dr. Grandin referred to this as: The Autistic Void.

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