Page 1 of 2 [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

glider18
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 8 Nov 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,056
Location: USA

12 Jun 2009, 10:13 pm

I was doing some research on Abraham Lincoln and his four children (all sons)---three of which died before full adulthood. I found the youngest son, Tad Lincoln, to be most amazing. He was born on April 4, 1853, and died on July 15, 1871. When he was born, Abraham Lincoln nicknamed him "Tad" for a tadpole---because his head was so large in proportion to his body as compared to other babies/infants. As a child, Tad was described as impulsive and unrestrained. He did not attend school. His tutors in the White House usually gave up with him in frustration. He often interrupted White House meetings. Tad collected animals. By age 12, he still could not read, and since early childhood had a speech impediment described as a lisp or stutter(which later went away). It isn't known that he had any close friends.

Could Tad Lincoln have been autistic? I would like to see a discussion on this based on your research---if you find it interesting.

Image


_________________
"My journey has just begun."


12 Jun 2009, 10:19 pm

Maybe. Because the condition was unknown, the parents didn't know what to do with him. That's why society needs labels. So people will know what to look up and read about and what to do about it.



glider18
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 8 Nov 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,056
Location: USA

12 Jun 2009, 10:29 pm

I should also add here that Abraham Lincoln was 44 years old when Tad Lincoln was born---which is said to cause a higher chance of having an autistic child.


_________________
"My journey has just begun."


j0sh
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Nov 2008
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,197
Location: Tampa, Florida

12 Jun 2009, 11:42 pm

I was going to say that I thought it was just the mother's age that mattered, then did a google to be sure. Hrm.. learn something new every day.

Figured I'd say hello anyways Glider.



Chizpurfle52595
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 74

13 Jun 2009, 4:14 am

Mary Todd Lincoln always struck me as having autistic tendencies, because she reminds me of an aunt of mine who also was a compulsive shopper (hey, it' snot an autistic trait per se, but the more severe Aspies in my dad's family all have that trait). It's suggested that she might have had schizophrenia since she deteriorated into hallucinations and paranoia near the end of her life. I also have at least one cousin with schizophrenia.



glider18
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 8 Nov 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,056
Location: USA

13 Jun 2009, 6:40 am

Mary Todd Lincoln definitely had eccentric traits. I was just reading about her wealthy upbringing and how she met Abraham Lincoln. The article said that when she met him, Abraham Lincoln was described as being socially awkward and fascinated by the new Whig Party.

Here is some more to add about Tad Lincoln. He was described as being quick in his movements and talked rapidly. He was also imaginative, sensitive, exasperating, loving, and highly emotional---and his behavior and manners were often unpredictable and difficult to deal with. I know that the sensitive and emotional traits don't seem to indicate autism according to many interpretations of the definition (empathy). But, don't we that have autism have plenty of emotions? The empathy issue is in our ability to project our emotional concerns to others. And don't we also love? Tad, along with his older brother Willie, often played pranks in the White House. Tad, who was rowdier, even sprayed dignitaries with a fire hose, broke mirrors, locked doors, barged into meetings, made wagons/sleds out of chairs, rang call bells, sold food in the lobby, and drilled the servants as if they were soldiers. It is hard to tell what was going on inside of his head. Perhaps he was engaging into daydreams.


_________________
"My journey has just begun."


Michjo
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Mar 2009
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,020
Location: Oxford, UK

13 Jun 2009, 7:06 am

I've not read anything here or on wikipedia (looks like you've already stated everything from wikipedia here anyway) that suggested tad lincoln was autistic.

The macrocephaly could indicate Sotos Syndrome

His ADHD and impulsive behaviours as well as his speech impairments are covered by this. Sotos syndrome can also cause mild mental restardation, which seems to fit with tad's behaviour.



pschristmas
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Apr 2008
Age: 52
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,001
Location: Buda, TX

13 Jun 2009, 8:46 am

I've also heard an argument for Lincoln having Marfan Syndrome. It's all speculative, though. I doubt anyone's going to let his body be exhumed for genetic testing. :lol:

Regards,

Patricia



glider18
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 8 Nov 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,056
Location: USA

13 Jun 2009, 1:11 pm

This is good---looks like we could be starting a nice discussion of this theory. There is no doubt that Mary Todd Lincoln was eccentric and displayed autistic tendencies---as suggested by Chispurfle52595. I also like the theory of schizophrenia with her since she did seem to possibly deteriorate into hallucinations and paranoia later in life.


Interesting Michjo. I can see the possibility of ADHD with Tad. Your idea of Sotos Syndrome is interesting, but I feel it was basically his head that was considered bigger in proportion to the rest of his body. It would be neat for you to find more information on Sotos Syndrome and look into his proportions. The head size thing to me seems like the larger head size associated with some autistics. Thank you for these theories---this could start some nice debates.

Yes PsChristmas, I have heard that Abraham Lincoln may have had Marfan Syndrome. It would be hard to dig him up now since he is encased in ten feet of concrete within a steel cage underneath the tomb. He was disinterred several times up until this current burial site. Interesting is that he was embalmed so many times on the funeral train that he was practically mummified. So his condition is generally good.

Something else I heard is the possibility that Abraham Lincoln was a Melungeon, a tri-racial isolate group consisting of European, African, and Native American ancestry.


_________________
"My journey has just begun."


Michjo
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Mar 2009
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,020
Location: Oxford, UK

13 Jun 2009, 2:14 pm

I suggested SOTOS because of the nickname "tad". A tadpole as a hugely disproportionate sized head when compared to the body, and this would not be the case for a child born with mild macrocephaly. With SOTOS the size of the head will normalise with age, and the individual will just be left with a slightly large head. You are certainly correct when you say that macrocephaly is associated with autism however.

I've read about Mrs. Lincoln and i'm not really seeing anything autistic or aspergerish about her behaviour. She just seems to have suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. It's understandable that she disintergrated the way she did, she must have had a very hard life.

I read that willie lincoln was obsessed with a pony. Of course, this could mean anything. But i suppose it could be an aspie obsession. I also read that tad cried for months after willie died, that sounds very autistic to me. Unlike other routine changes, it's not really something that's in your control.



glider18
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 8 Nov 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,056
Location: USA

13 Jun 2009, 2:42 pm

Hi Michjo. This is indeed interesting. If Tad had SOTOS, do you think this could have resulted in a failure of his health causing him to die by the age of 18? It is tragic that 3 of the 4 boys died before reaching full adulthood.

I am really happy you are discussing this with me because I have found this most fascinating lately. I didn't realize the head size would normalize with age. If you are correct, he could have had SOTOS along with ADHD perhaps.

As for your theory of Mary Todd Lincoln not being autistic and being a paranoid schizophrenic---that does sound extremely possible. If I were to bet money, I would say she was schizophrenic.

Good point on Willie and the obsession with the pony. You mentioned that Tad cried for months after Willie died---and you suggested that that sounds autistic considering this being a routine change. I never thought of that that way. But you are right. Tad and Willie were very close.

Did you see anything about Tad going with his mother to Lexington to visit her stepmother and him bringing a homeless kitten into the house---then the stepmother ordering it out of the house leaving Tad devastated? He seemed to care for animals greatly. [edited to correct---it was Eddie who had the kitten brought in the house, not Tad---thank you pschristmas for correcting me on this]

There was a lot of tragedy in this family.

I am anxious to here anything else you can suggest or find on this. And I hope others want to join in on this.


_________________
"My journey has just begun."


Last edited by glider18 on 13 Jun 2009, 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

glider18
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 8 Nov 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,056
Location: USA

13 Jun 2009, 3:19 pm

Here is a great article I just found on Tad Lincoln.

http://www.historybuff.com/library/reftad.html


_________________
"My journey has just begun."


pschristmas
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Apr 2008
Age: 52
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,001
Location: Buda, TX

13 Jun 2009, 3:34 pm

glider18 wrote:

Did you see anything about Tad going with his mother to Lexington to visit her stepmother and him bringing a homeless kitten into the house---then the stepmother ordering it out of the house leaving Tad devastated? He seemed to care for animals greatly.


This link attributes the kitten story to Eddie Lincoln -- and apparently Eddie won. He was only about three when it happened.

Regards,

Patricia



Michjo
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Mar 2009
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,020
Location: Oxford, UK

13 Jun 2009, 4:54 pm

Quote:
http://www.historybuff.com/library/reftad.html

I just read this link and it was a good read. Tad was a remarkable individual, the article also makes abe lincoln seem much more human to me, i've never read much about the lincolns before, so they've only ever been names until now.

Quote:
If Tad had SOTOS, do you think this could have resulted in a failure of his health causing him to die by the age of 18? It is tragic that 3 of the 4 boys died before reaching full adulthood.

Perhaps, although the cleft palate probably left him vulnerable to getting ill on it's own. It wasn't very uncommon to die young back then either.

I think most of tads behaviour stemmed from his brother william. From what i've read, they were very close, they were both mischevious and william also liked helping people. William was older and apparently very bright, i think the insightful nature being attributed to tad is probably just tad mirroring williams beliefs.

William could see the difficulties tad had to endure and wanted to help others.



glider18
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 8 Nov 2008
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,056
Location: USA

13 Jun 2009, 5:34 pm

pschristmas wrote:
glider18 wrote:

Did you see anything about Tad going with his mother to Lexington to visit her stepmother and him bringing a homeless kitten into the house---then the stepmother ordering it out of the house leaving Tad devastated? He seemed to care for animals greatly.


This link attributes the kitten story to Eddie Lincoln -- and apparently Eddie won. He was only about three when it happened.

Regards,

Patricia


Yes---you are right---I ran an edit on the post. Thank you for correcting me on this. It was Eddie that had the kitten. I didn't read where he won---did he get to keep the kitten? I hope he did.


_________________
"My journey has just begun."