Young Autistic Man from São Paulo Wins 76 Medals in Scientific Olympiads

Gifted, student has been taking high school classes since he was 11 years old

São Paulo

He was 11 when he began attending advanced high school classes that trained for Science Olympiads in biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and astronomy.

For a while, he stood on equal terms with the older students in learning. Soon he overtook them. Today, at 16, he has surpassed his teachers.

SÃO PAULO, SP, 19.09.2023 - Alexandre Andrade de Almeida (Foto: Danilo Verpa/Folhapress, COTIDIANO) - Folhapress

Gifted and autistic, Alexandre Andrade de Almeida has been collecting medals from the Knowledge Olympics. There are 76, in national and international competitions. In most cases, he's come first.

Last week, he won the Ibero-American Physics Olympiad, in Costa Rica. At the beginning of September, in Spain, he was awarded gold among Brazilians in the Ibero-American Biology Olympiad and silver in the overall score.

Studying is Alexandre's passion. He thinks for a few seconds before answering what he likes to do most. "Playing with my dogs," he says.

"I also play chess and play the piano. I like thinking about the mathematical relationships in music." Video games, he plays "a little". He is on social media but more as an obligation, as a channel to communicate with his school friends and the Olympics crowd.

Books, he says he reads several at the same time and currently has "Lehninger's Principles of Biochemistry" on his bedside table; a treatise on electromagnetism by Edward Purcell, Nobel laureate in Physics; and "Organic Chemistry", a classic in this area in higher education.

Translated by Cassy Dias

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