I attended a conference not too long ago and one of the speakers said that “without autistic people we may still be living in caves”. The speaker was suggesting that through seeing things differently, people diagnosed with ASD can achieve amazing things.
Being autistic does not stop you from leading a good life, having a partner or getting a job. Below I have come up with a who’s who of famous people who are, or are thought to be, on the spectrum.
A Who’s Who of Autism
Charles Darwin: Charles Darwin is best known for his theory of evolution which has now been widely accepted. A leading psychiatrist (Michael Fitzgerald) conducted research on Darwin and concluded he had Aspergers.
Mozart: A world renowned musician, although this is a bit speculative, scholars suggest that Mozart was on the spectrum. Historians note one incident where Mozart began doing cartwheels and meowing like a cat when he became bored; it is thought he also had an intolerance of loud noises.
Susan Boyle: Another musician who has sold 14 million albums and later revealed to the public that she was diagnosed as having Aspergers syndrome. She has said she still has much to learn about autism but she felt relieved when she was diagnosed.
Steve Jobs: Steve Jobs was a pioneer in computing and co-founded Apple. Although this has not been confirmed there are a number of people that believe Steve Jobs was on the spectrum. Believers say that he had some quirky behaviours, a lack of empathy for others and unorthodox ways of thinking.
Dan Aykroyd: A comedy actor, for me he is most well known for his role in the original Ghostbusters. Dan publicly speaks about his diagnosis of Aspergers, mentioning that he was expelled twice before he was diagnosed.
Albert Einstein: There are a number of experts that think that Albert Einstein, one of the most well-known mathematician/scientists in the world, was on the spectrum. His obvious intelligence aside, he apparently had delayed speech as a child and then echolalia as he got older.
One of our students here at Running Deer could be the next Einstein or could grace the world with beautiful music.
There really are no limits, with the right support and encouragement I believe they can achieve anything.