They say celebrities are immune from all sorts of problem, are they aliens? Do they not live on the planet earth?
If you thought talking about Autism was taboo – you’re highly mistaken. Like any condition, it can affect the likes of me and you equally, be it an average person or a famous celebrity.
There is too much stigma revolving around autism and high profile personalities. Even though coming about the condition is solely dependent on the person itself, under no circumstances should it lead us to feel any less about these inspirational figures.
We will shed light on 15 famous people with autism , who had and still continue to inspire us with their works and achievement.
15. Daryl Hannah
The 80’s star rose to prominence with notable roles in the likes of Kill Bill and Splash. The star had a bright career in Hollywood, as well as fame in the media; notably for high profile relationships like with John F Kennedy Jr.
Until recently the artist came about her early diagnosis for autism. Despite her than high profile career, she never let anyone else other than her closest of family members know about her condition. On the autism spectrum, her autism is called Asperger’s Syndrome.
Ever since the mid 2000’s she hasn’t seen much limelight and continues to avoid the media. She is no doubt one of the famous autistic people.
14. Charles Darwin
Tell me you have heard of the guy, or ‘Darwin’s theory of Evolution’ ring any bells No? Oh well, Darwin was a leading and revolutionary scientist that exhibited great intellect and authored the theory on the evolution of human beings through natural selective process of the world.
Leading doctors and psychiatrists, who have studied the habits and nature of Darwin believe that Darwin suffered from autism. Why? Well because of his continuous habit of playing attention to key details while on his journeys and his difficulties in establishing long lasting social interaction.
13. Dan Harmon
If you don’t know about the above personality, it’s okay. Basically a producer who has dished out projects the likes of Community on NBC and also co-produced Adult Swim. Recently working on Monster House and Anomalisa.
While working on the character Abed on NBC, Harmon learned more about autism. Eventually for Dan, it lead to a very long and self-analytical phase that brought him about his fact findings on autism that perfectly fitted on himself.
Later on those findings were examined by his doctor to be true and confirmed his worst nightmares. Despite the truth, He’s been a good man living an energetic life to the maximum.
12. Heather Kuzmich
Do you remember America’s Next Top model hosted by the great Tyra Banks? In that show, the world saw a young and inspiring girl Kuzmich making her career, battling round after round.
Despite knowing she was diagnosed with autism, the model still insisted on joining the show and running for it. Even though she did not win, she ended up at the 5th place in the long list. The inspirational part, she was voted as the viewer favorite for 8! Weeks in a row.
Goes on to show, how much people mattered her resilience and courage to continue on. In her interviews she stated that she wished to be a role model for girls who were greatly troubled.
11. Dan Aykroyd
Who would know? That an academy award winning writer would be autistic. Being from the cast of the classic and cult followed The Blues Brothers and 1984 Ghostbusters. According to an article, the actor was expelled from school twice over his habits of acting up and a psychiatrists diagnosed him with mild symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome.
Until recently in 2004, Aykroyd admitted that he suffered from autism in his early ears through a confirmation by a specialist.
Did you know? As a sign of OCD – repeating things consecutively, this led to his obsession with policemen and ghosts that inspired him to write Ghostbusters.
10. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
You all must have heard about Mozart, even his full name surprises me. But that’s not being discussed here. Known for his beautiful and flawless compositions of music. Melodies that transcend you far away from your troubles.
The genius according to historians was termed as a highly functioning autistic. According to their findings, Mozart was not able to keep his hands and feet still at any particular time.
High functioning autistic people are with great abilities in a key area of skill. Even though Mozart showed dislike of loud sounds, his characteristic lead him to be one of the famous celebrities with autism.
9. Courtney Love
The highly glamorized singer from her time, selling multiple platinum level albums and songs though her career. Led her to becoming a much publicized image. While being past 50, she still continues to be an active artist and actress as well.
It was revealed through a biography by Poppy Z that Love was mildly autistic. According to Love herself, her social skills are below par that of an average individuals. To better herself, she and her friends visited gay clubs to lessen her frustration.
Despite the condition, she has shown shear resilience and an undeniable attitude towards her commitment for her career and her fans alike.
8. James Durbin
If you remember the American idol contestant James Durbin from season 10.You will also know that he was very autistic and was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and Tourette’s syndrome.
Despite the facts, the artist was very verbal about his condition and voiced greater awareness among the masses.
According to Durbin himself, times have been tough for him and his only way to look away from his problem is focus - that is music. Music is what enables him to concentrate on his work, balancing in between the spectrums of both illnesses.
7. Alexis Wineman
This is what our list is all about, highlighting new people with stories behind them. Miss Montana was the first Miss America contestant with autism. If you don’t know, pageants are very social and influential international platforms of recognition world over.
According to CNN, Wineman was diagnosed with pervasive development disorder, which comes on the spectrum of autism. Competing with that going inside your brain, is nothing short of commendable and requires respect for her courage.
She defied autism at the highest level and won the America’s choice award. Showing people that with autism you can still be a part of the society.
6. Albert Einstein
Being a revolutionary scientist, giving us multiple theories on energy, relativity and gravity. Einstein proved to be a remarkable child, so much that his teachers wouldn’t able to understand what he queried.
Scientist from Oxford and Cambridge have retrospectively diagnosed Einstein with Asperger’s syndrome. They based their verdict upon the fact the he suffered from a troubled childhood, often having problems with people around him, through the cause of social development issues.
Source: Einstein and Newton 'had autism'
5. Matt Savage
This little kid shows the spirits of the human mind, what it is capable of doing. The kid is basically an autistic savant musician, who has been suffering from pervasive development disorder since early child hood. He disliked loud music and refrained from much social interaction.
However, Savage did manage to do one thing, he taught himself how to read piano sheet music at 6 and within no time was playing the piano. In time he has become a fully experienced music composer, that too without any formal training. He comes on the higher functioning part of the spectrum.
Matt Savage has toured around the world and performed at the Late Night with David Letterman show.
4. Susan Boyle
If you don’t remember, in 2009 this Scottish women auditioned for the Britain’s Got Talent, and she touched the world with her mesmerizing voice and instantly became a sensation. After which she never looked back and went onto selling 14 million records around the world.
Until recently, Boyle announced that she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, through a Scottish specialist – to which she called “a relief”
According to her “Asperger’s doesn’t define me. It’s a condition that I have to live with and work through, but I feel more relaxed about myself,” she said in the interview. Now that is what you call a never dying spirit.
3. Stanley Kubrick
We never thought, that in our life time we would be talking about the renowned filmmaker to have suffered from Asperger’s syndrome. Though Kubrick does not live among us anymore, his legacy continues.
Kubrick was diagnosed in retrospect by Dr. Michael Fitzgerald along with co-writer Viktoria. They based their diagnosis on the facts on Kubrick’s behavioral traits – like obsessive interests, poor sociability and lack of adaptability towards new things.
2. Jerry Seinfeld
I won’t believe it, if you told me you haven’t watched Seinfeld. Nevertheless and all time classic comedic sitcom that aired on NBC, the lead character Jerry Seinfeld told the NBC news that he believes he’s on the autism spectrum.
Though not officially confirmed yet, the statement still came out to be a shocker. Especially for a person that grew up watching Seinfeld.
1. Temple Grandin
I think it is justified to reserve this place for the most influential autism spokesperson, which is none other than Grandin. She has been a global voice on autism awareness by being the only person to publicly share extensive insights in her experiences of autism.
Her revolutionary consultation on animal science has proven valuable in the livestock industry. Even though Grandin was never formally diagnosed with autism in her childhood, she was properly diagnosed in her 40’s. Additionally, she is an advocate of greater good and has been named as a ‘Hero’ in the Times 100 most influential people.