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14 famous people with autism, are rocking it out there.

Updated: May 14

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They are achieving higher goals today than ever, we see them giving speeches at esteemed organizations, performing in front of thousands of people, acting on screen, yet we never come to think that Greta thunberg, Sia, Susan Boyle, Elon Musk and Maisie Hill are some of the famous figures who are diagnosed with autism.

Worldwide, as per CDC surveillance conducted in 2020, about 1 in 36 children were diagnosed with autism.

Since so many individuals are being diagnosed with autism now, it comes with a little or no surprise that more celebrities are also diagnosed with autism.

Positive autistic traits illustration
Image credit- spot children's therapy center

Famous personalities with autism

Historic figures-

  • Albert Einstein

  • Sir Isaac Newton

  • Leonardo Da Vinci

  • Benjamin Franklin

It has been speculated after observing the behavior and interests of few famous historical figures that they may have fallen in the spectrum.

Few personality traits common in all the above figures are-

  • Obsessive interests

  • Problems communicating

  • Constant immersion in their work

  • Repetitive routines

  • Difficulty in social settings

Athletes with autism

  • Anthony Ianni

  • Clay Marzo

  • Armani Williams

  • Jackie Barrett

  • Lisa Llorens

Clay Marzo-

He is a top surfer who was diagnosed with autism in the year 2007, he said in an interview, ‘I always felt something is different about me.’ He was always super focused on the sports that interested him.

At competitions he was observed to be rubbing his hands together at fast pace, it is known as STIMMING.

Anthony Ianni-

He is a basketball player who was diagnosed with autism. As a child when his parents would take him to watch sports he'd face difficulties due to noise, flashing lights and crowded locations due to hypersensitivity/ sensory overload, he'd describe it as ‘freakout moments’.

However he overcame his difficulties and attended Michigan State University from year 2009 to 2012. He further became the first Division 1 basketball player diagnosed with Autism.

Armani Williams-

Armani Williams is a NASCAR driver who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 years. He is the first NASCAR driver to be open about the difficulties he faced due to autism.

In an interview Williams spoke about his childhood, he spoke his first words at the age of 3 years. He faced significant difficulties in social interactions and sensory processing. He would enjoy watching car race as a child.

He is also involved in raising awareness for autism as you can often see Autism printed on his car and track suit, he has also sported blue cars with autism ‘puzzle piece' sign.

Celebrities with autism

  • Susan Boyle

  • Sia

  • Greta Thunberg

  • Courtney Love

  • Wentworth Miller

Greta Thunberg-

“The diagnosis was almost only positive for me.”

Greta Thunberg is an 18- year old activist, who is known for being vocal about the climate crisis. In an interview with teen vogue, Greta shared that being diagnosed was more of a relief for her. “When I felt the saddest, I didn’t know that I had autism,” she explained. “I just thought, I don’t want to be like this. The diagnosis was almost only positive for me. It helped me get the support I needed and made me understand why I was like this.”

She refers to autism as her ‘superpower’. On being asked how autism has impacted her fight against climate change, she said “A lot of people with autism have a special interest that they can sit and do for an eternity without getting bored,” she explained. “It’s a very useful thing sometimes. Autism can be something that holds you back, but if you get to the right circumstance, if you are around the right people, if you get the adaptations that you need, and if you feel you have a purpose, then it can be something you can use for good. And I think that I’m doing that now.”

Elon musk-

We are often fascinated by how the mind of Elon Musk works. In a recent TED Talk interview with the head of TED Chris Anderson discussed his experience with autism. When asked about his experience while growing up, he said, "Social cues were not intuitive, so I was just very bookish," Musk told Anderson. "Others could intuitively understand what was meant by something. I would take something very literally as if the words that were spoken were exactly what they meant. But that turned out to be wrong. [People are] not simply saying exactly what they mean. There are all sorts of other things that are meant. It took me a while to figure that out.” Musk suggested that autism has aided his future, as his intense interest in science and technology was amplified by his hyper-focused mind. "I found it rewarding to spend all night programming computers, just by myself," Musk told Anderson. "Most people don't enjoy typing strange symbols into a computer by themselves all night. They think that's not fun. But I really liked it."

We may not completely understand why Elon Musk tweets the way he does, but we sure look at autism more positively.

Wentworth Miller-

Wentworth is an American actor recognised for the role he played in the movie Prison Break was diagnosed with autism during COVID pandemic.

He opened up on social media about his diagnosis, "I don't know enough about Autism, (there's a lot to know). "Right now my work looks like it is evolving my understanding. Re-examining five decades of lived experience through a new lens.”

The actor also commented on how difficult the diagnosis of autism has been for him as an adult.

As a parent or can be heartbreaking to receive the diagnosis of autism for your young one, this blog was meant to show you that the diagnosis of autism is not limited to a particular social or ethnic group. From all the above mentioned personalities we can also learn that even though autism imposes various challenges for life, it doesn't always limit the ability of an individual to excel in life.

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