The New “Rain Man”

Neurology Now
January/February 2007
Volume 3(1)
p 11
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When as a child Nicky Gottlieb could calculate the exact day of the week a person was born and figure prime numbers in the thousands, his family knew there was something different about him. What they couldn't figure out was how he could possess these extraordinary skills yet also be incapable of holding a conversation.

It wasn't until a few years ago that they discovered the reason behind this strange paradox—Nicky was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Now “Today's Man,” a new documentary produced by Nicky's sister, Lizzie, is informing the rest of the world about this little-known syndrome.

Lizzie started filming Nicky three years ago, when he was 21 and beginning to struggle with the responsibilities of adulthood. The documentary chronicles his life for the next six years as he tries to find a job, hold down a job, and move out of his family home.

Asperger's, which is thought to affect two out of every 10,000 children, hasn't stopped Nicky from taking on life's challenges and even doing a little self-promotion. “I imagine a lot of people feel like Asperger's is a real disability,” he says. “But at the same time you have some extraordinary abilities—math, foreign languages, dates.”

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To look up screening dates and purchase the DVD, visit orchardpictures.com .

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