The heroes who transform what most others would consider a weakness into their superpower in order to alter the course of history, improve the lives of others, and inspire countless numbers of people. There is no group of influential people where you will find a more classic illustration of these superheroes than among those who have been identified as having (or at the very least displaying) autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).
ASD is a term that encompasses a number of distinct conditions, including Aspergers Syndrome, Autistic Disorder, and “classic autism,” the latter of which is the typical condition that most people think of when they hear the word “autism,” and it affects an estimated 1.5 million people in the United States and roughly 700,000 in the UK. There are people in the middle who have Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), also known as “atypical autism,” which is the term typically used to describe people who exhibit some autistic-like characteristics but do not fully satisfy the requirements for an Aspergers or Autistic Disorder diagnosis.
1. Dr. Temple Grandin
Without include Temple Grandin, no list of autistic individuals who inspire us could be considered complete.
Dr. Grandin was diagnosed with autism when she was a small child and was mute until the age of three and a half. With the aid of a speech therapist, she was eventually able to speak. Discovering her voice, she went on to write and publish the groundbreaking book Emergence: Branded Autism, widely recognized as the first authentic look into the mind and life of an autistic person.
Dr. Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado University and is considered as “the most talented and well-known adult with autism in the world.” She is a prolific writer and lecturer on both the topic of autism and animal behavior. She was included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010, and an Emmy Award-winning actress, Claire Danes, starred in the biographical film about her.
2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Although though the first case of autism wasn’t discovered until two centuries after Mozart’s passing, a number of top researchers have retroactively identified the great composer as having Tourette’s and Asperger’s syndrome. Mozart was probably diagnosed as having autism in his day due to his repeated movements, odd facial expressions, unstable moods, and obsessive ideas and behaviors.
That, however, had no impact on his development or originality. Mozart is recognized as one of the finest composers in history. From the time he was a toddler until his untimely death at age 35, he produced over 600 works. Many of these pieces continue to be recognized as the pinnacle of classical music brilliance.
3. Satoshi Tajiri
Even if Satoshi Tajiri is not the most well-known person on our list, you have undoubtedly heard of his invention.
Tajiri, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, grew up loving Nintendo’s Game Boy and having a penchant for collecting insects. Later, he combined the two to create the ground-breaking Pokémon game for the Game Boy, in which players would “gather” special imaginary animals and utilize them in conflict with other players.
The video games would act as the foundation for what would ultimately turn into the biggest media franchise of all time, encompassing video games, books, movies, memorabilia, and more. Tajiri has repeatedly acknowledged having Aspergers, but he also claims he likes to let his art speak for itself. Who could blame him given that he built a franchise with a $15 billion reported value?
4. Emily Dickinson
One of the greatest poets of all time is frequently cited as the reclusive author Emily Dickinson. Although her epilepsy has received a lot of attention, it is less well recognized that she was probably autistic. According to author Julie Brown’s book Writers on the spectrum: how autism and Asperger syndrome have inspired literary writing, many of Dickinson’s well-knownly “quirky” behaviors and features are related to autism.
5. Anthony Ianni
Doctors warned Anthony Ianni’s parents that he would likely never achieve much in life when he was first diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Ianni will hardly complete high school, never attend college, and most definitely never pursue a career in athletics, according to those doctors. Fortunately, the basketball enthusiast refused to believe it and instead used it as inspiration to strive for bigger things.
He eventually went on to become the first autistic basketball player to ever play in the First Division, helping the Michigan Spartans win the NCAA National Championship in 2000. Ianni is now a well-known motivational speaker who exhorts young people with autism to let nothing stand in the way of realizing their goals.
6. Sir Anthony Hopkins
Sir Anthony Hopkins, an Oscar-winning actor who starred in The Silence of the Lambs and a number of other iconic films, has been candid about his high-functioning Asperger’s. He claimed in an interview that despite really like people, he doesn’t have many friends or attend parties because he is on the autism spectrum. Nonetheless, Sir Anthony has established himself as one of the most popular and prosperous performers of his generation.
7. Albert Einstein
Einstein is without a doubt the person on the list of today’s highly accomplished autistic people who actually needs no introduction. He created the theory of relativity, as we all know. We are all aware that he created E = MC2, sometimes known as “the world’s most famous equation.” The most of us are even aware that he is considered to be one of, if not the most influential scientist of his or any generation.
However, not everyone is aware that Einstein also had several characteristics of autism. He didn’t start speaking until he was three years old, like Temple Grandin. Then, in contrast to other kids whose speech develops gradually, he started speaking in full phrases right once. Other factors, such as his rigid fixation on routine and “sameness,” in addition to his trouble interacting with others, have led many behavioural experts to speculate that Einstein might have received an ASD diagnosis if he had been evaluated in his lifetime.
8. Dani Bowman
Dani Bowman has been influencing other young people on the autism spectrum since she was a young child, in contrast to others who waited until they were adults before inspiring others. Bowman, a gifted animator and illustrator, founded her own business, DaniMation Entertainment, when she was just 11 years old and started her career as an animator three years later. She actively encourages people with ASD and disabilities to use their full potential, pursue their aspirations, and accomplish their goals. She is a passionate public speaker and champion for autism.
9. Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol, who is equally well-known for his quirkiness as his paintings of soup cans, was never given an autism diagnosis during his lifetime. But, many top experts concur that the well-known pop star had many of the traits and behaviors associated with an autism diagnosis, just like Mozart, Einstein, and a number of other individuals.
Warhol was renowned for being socially awkward and frequently having trouble identifying his pals. He also spoke with few words and insisted on order and consistency in his life.
10. Daryl Hannah
Actress Daryl Hannah, well-known for appearing in 1980s blockbusters including Blade Runner, Wall Street, and Steel Magnolias, has discussed how her Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis ended her career in interviews. She has previously discussed how she felt “socially awkward and uncomfortable” at premieres and other gatherings, and how the behavior brought on by her Asperger’s caused the movie business to “practically blacklist” her. Hannah persevered despite her obstacles, appearing in the critically acclaimed Kill Bill films as well as numerous other well-known movies and stage productions.