Autism is often linked to some taboo where the person is being downgraded, teased, or ostracized in the community. Should this happen? Even if we grow up in such a biased world, these people with autism should not feel the harshness of the world because they are humans too, and they have their purpose. In fact, some famous people – whose celebrity status makes them familiar to you – have also suffered from autism spectrum disorder, but they were able to make the best out of their condition and pursued great and fulfilling careers.
10 Famous People With Autism
Here are 10 famous individuals with autism:
1. Albert Einstein
Einstein is among the list of famous people with autism. When he was alive, people thought him to be weird because there has been no definitive diagnosis of autism just yet. His past family records and dreamy nature can be signs of his autistic nature.
He also had difficulties in social interaction and was even falling behind in school since he had a hard time learning new things, which should have been easily learned by normal kids at his age. However, he had a good sense of humor, which people attributed to a special type of Asperger’s Syndrome.
2. Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah is notable for her role in films such as Kill Bill, Splash, and Blade Runner. She opened up about being diagnosed with autism when she was still a child, and the diagnosis made her an extremely shy kid. She admitted that she rocks herself to soothe and calm down. Hannah’s autism is known as Asperger’s Syndrome, which is often characterized by repetitive patterns of interests and behavior as well as difficulties in nonverbal communication and social interaction.
3. Courtney Love
Courtney Love is one among the list of famous people with autism. She was diagnosed as mildly autistic when she was just nine years old, according to Poppy Z. She had a rather colorful albeit disturbing history from having a troubled home life to getting kicked out from different schools to delinquent behaviors and drug use. Though no one can say if these are all related to her autism, her high intelligence, and undeniable talent can be quite a giveaway.
4. Dan Aykroyd
The Canadian-American actor and comedian have been diagnosed with Tourette’s and Asperger’s Syndromes like James Durbin. Tourette’s was diagnosed when he was 12 while Asperger’s was diagnosed only during the early 80s when he consulted a specialist upon his wife’s insistence. His obsession is about ghosts and police officers which paved the way to the film Ghostbusters.
5. Tim Burton
It was Tim Burton’s wife, Helena Bonham Carter, who proclaimed and diagnosed him as having autism upon noticing how he exhibit all the signs of the disorder such as social anxiety, shyness, and focused talent during the years they were together.
Bonham Carter was able to distinguish these signs and symptoms of autism when she was doing her research about her character as a mother to several autistic boys. Even Burton claimed that he experienced the symptoms of autism when he was a child after watching a documentary about it.
6. James Durbin
Featured in the Season 10 of American Idol, Durbin was diagnosed with both Tourette and Asperger syndromes when he was about ten years old. He admitted that he was bullied extremely hard back in childhood because of the symptoms he manifested. And he says that:
He is at his most comfortable when performing on stage.
His ability to be super focused – one symptom of the disorder – on things made him successful in the music industry.
7. Susan Boyle
Britain’s Got Talent’s alumna Susan Boyle probably has one of the best voices in the entire world. Many people may have been cynical and laughed at her when she first steps on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent due to her frumpy appearance and peculiar character, but she got everyone charmed with her stunning voice and earned a tremendous fan base. Her oddness was attributed to Asperger’s and not brain damaged – as what she was told previously.
8. Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson may not be a celebrity, but he is one of the famous people worth mentioning on this list simply because he became the third president of the United States despite being autistic. He was considered as extremely shy, and the former president would do everything to avoid eye contact. He also had difficulties speaking in public as well as relating to other people.
9. Steven Spielberg
Who doesn’t idolize Spielberg? With his creativity and extreme talent, Spielberg is one of the well-respected personalities in Hollywood as a director and producer. He is the mastermind for famous films such ET, Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. Though he is not directly diagnosed as having autism, the suspicion of him having the disorder is relatively high considering his odd behavior.
10. Matt Savage
Savage was a Jazz child prodigy having taught himself to read and play the piano at age 6 and perform by age 8 for Jazz master Dave Brubeck. It has been said that he was diagnosed at age 3 with a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, high-functioning autism, which gave him extreme proficiency in an area that is considered as above normal. He already released nine albums, traveled and performed worldwide, and appeared on several major late-night talk shows, all at the age of 21.
Also Read: High Functioning Depression