Some of you may have heard of Temple Grandin. HBO recently released a movie about her life; she is autistic and has learned to use her "gifts" to find a place in the world and to excel professionally (she is one the world's foremost leading experts on animal behavior).
Grandin is on the "high functioning" side of the autism spectrum, which is a continuum of traits and symptoms that includes both people like her (mildly autistic) and those who may not be able to speak or interact with others at all. We all know or have known people like her- we call them quirky, or nerds, or geeky, people who are socially awkward but who are highly intelligent in some arcane way.
Here is a link to a short lecture she gave on TED recently. It's about 20 minutes long. She talks about the differences in the way autistic people think, compared to others.
Here is another, a shorter version on the same themes she did for CNN. The end of it is kind of funny, if you know anyone who is autistic. She just declares that she needs to leave, and off she goes.