The autism spectrum encompasses a whole range of developmental disorders. People on the spectrum think differently from neurotypicals, or people who don’t have autism.
Men and women with autism have been able to make huge advances in film, music, sport, and science. Many of these folks are putting their diverse minds to good use. Read on to find out how the smartest man who ever lived fits on the spectrum, and learn who was relieved to receive a diagnosis.
Helena Bonham Carter Thinks Tim Burton Has Autism
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Helena Bonham Carter was doing some research for a film when she realized her husband at the time, Tim Burton, had many of the symptoms of autism.
She said: “We were watching a documentary about autism and he said that’s how he felt as a child. Autistic people have application and dedication. You can say something to Tim when he’s working and he doesn’t hear you. But that quality also makes him a fantastic father, he has an amazing sense of humor and imagination. He sees things other people don’t see.”
Dan Harmon Discovered His Asperger’s While Writing For Abed
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Rick and Morty co-creator and the mastermind behind Community, Dan Harmon started researching Asperger’s while creating Abed, a character on Community.
He said, “I started looking up these symptoms, just to know what they are. And the more I looked them up, the more familiar they started to seem.” Harmon saw a doctor who officially diagnosed him.
Courtney Love Was Diagnosed By A Therapist
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The singer, songwriter, and widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love was diagnosed with autism when she was just nine years old.
She doesn’t discuss her diagnosis often, but she has said that being on the spectrum has led her to become more introverted. Read on to find out what’s the deal with the autism spectrum— and a very famous comedian.
James Durbin Is An Autism Activist
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James Durbin was a finalist on the tenth season of American Idol. James Told Autism Speaks, ” Right around the time when I was diagnosed, I got a hand-me-down guitar with a chord book and a cheap busted tuner. I didn’t know what I was doing, haha. It’s all about focus and for me, not only on the Autism spectrum but also the Tourette’s spectrum, focus was something I needed help with. Music is my focus”
He’s been vocal about his diagnosis to spread autism awareness and help the larger autistic community.
Susan Boyle Was Relieved To Discover That She Has Asperger’s
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Susan Boyle was diagnosed with “brain damage” when she was born. In 2012, she learned that she was misdiagnosed and that she is actually on the autism spectrum.
The Britain’s Got Talent winner told The Guardian, ” I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understanding of what’s wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself.”
Jerry Seinfeld Thinks He Might Be On The Spectrum
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Although he’s never been formally diagnosed, Jerry Seinfeld told NBC reporter Brain Wiliams that he “might be on the autism spectrum.”
He faced some backlash from the autism community and then took back his self-diagnosis. He said that he identified with many of the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, but that he’s most likely not on the spectrum. Read on for another big-name star who has received a diagnosis from aqualified doctor.
Paddy Considine Feels Lucky To Have Discovered He’s Autistic
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Paddy Considine is an English actor, filmmaker, and musician. You probably know him best from his roles in Cinderella Man, Hot Fuzz, and the Jason Bourne films.
In 2011, Considine learned that he has autism. He told The Guardian, “When I started off acting, I was always portrayed as being angry and I wasn’t angry,” says Considine. “I was just ill, in a way. I wasn’t diagnosed with this, I didn’t know what was going on. I was becoming more detached. But I always knew I wasn’t that dark guy they were talking about.”
Stanley Kubrick Was Diagnosed Posthumously
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Stanley Kubrick didn’t live long enough to see our knowledge of autism spectrum disorder reach its current state. Dr. Michael Fitzgerald and Victoria Lyons diagnosed him with autism after his death in their book, Asperger Syndrome: A Gift or a Curse?
Kubrick had difficulty in social situations. He was obsessive, literal, and inflexible, which are all telltale signs of autism.
Sir Anthony Hopkins Is On The Autism Spectrum
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Anthony Hopkins told The Desert Sun, “Well, I’ve been diagnosed with Asperger’s, but I’m high end. A lot of people with Asperger’s are highly functional, but inconsistent. They have nervous ticks, nervous habits, inconsistently obsessive thinking… I tend to multi-task. I decide I’m not going to paint and then I’ll spend 24 hours painting.”
Keep reading for a musician who’s turned his diagnosis into art.
We Have Asperger’s To Thank For Ghostbusters
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Dan Aykroyd told the Daily Mail that symptoms of Asberger’s lead to the creation of Ghostbusters.
He said, “One of my symptoms included my obsession with ghosts and law enforcement — I carry around a police badge with me, for example. I became obsessed by Hans Holzer, the greatest ghost hunter ever. That’s when the idea of my film Ghostbusters was born.”
Daryl Hannah Struggled To Live With Autism
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Daryl Hannah was diagnosed with a mild form of autism when she was growing up in Chicago. At the time, doctors were still learning about the disorder.
A lot of doctors wanted to medicate Daryl and send her to an institution, but her mother wouldn’t allow that to happen.
Adam Young Of Owl City Has Symptoms Of Asperger’s
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Owl City frontman Adam Young has many of the classic symptoms of Asperger’s, including shyness and introversion.
He has a hard time performing in front of large crowds but has been able to sustain a successful music career, anyway. Young used to only participate in interviews over email because of his severe social anxiety. Read on for a woman who is famous because of her position on the autism spectrum.
We Have Pokémon Because Of Autism
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This is a photo of Hulk Hogan next to Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon. Tajiri was obsessed with collecting and identifying bugs when he was a kid.
He wanted more children to experience the joy he received from collecting bugs, so he created a whole new world of “pocket monsters” to collect.
Albert Einstein Probably Had Autism
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As a child, Einstein would constantly repeat sentences until he was seven years old. He also had difficulty functioning in social situations, and he became well-known for delivering confusing lectures.
Obsession, social issues, and difficulty communicating are three of the main symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.
Temple Grandin Has Become The Poster Child For Autism
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Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. She has been very open about her experiences with autism, and she even invented a “hug box,” a calming device for people struggling with the disorder.
She made Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people list in 2010, and Claire Danes played her in a 2010 biographical film directed by Mick Jackson. Read on for a person with autism who’s surfing to new heights.
The First Autistic Miss America Contestant
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Alexis Wineman, or Miss Montana, is a beauty queen who lives with autism.
When asked about her diagnosis, Wineman said, “I felt like it came 11 years too late, but when it came right down to it, it really did help. I found ways to cope. I was able to move on. By the time I graduated, I was really accepting who I was.”
Gary Numan Is At Peace With His Diagnosis
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British musician Gary Numan was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was a child.
Numan said, “Some people seem concerned about it but I have always seen it as a positive thing. Yes, I’m somewhat awkward socially, but that seems a small price to pay for the advantages that come with Asperger’s. I’m obsessive, but that’s a vital and useful trait for people in the music business.”
Clay Marzo Surfs Through Life On The Autism Spectrum
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Clay Marzo is a surfing savant. Many fans consider him to be one of the most inventive surfers of his generation.
In 2007, he announced that he has autism spectrum disorder. He released a book about his life and his struggle with autism in 2015 called Just Add Water. He hopes the book will help people understand him and others like him.
Craig Nicholls Performs With Autism
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Singer and songwriter Craig Nicholls is best known as the lead singer of the Australian band The Vines.
In 2004, Nicholls faced some malicious damage charges, but after consulting an autism spectrum disorders specialist, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s. All of the charges against him were dropped on the condition that he seek immediate medical treatment.
Matt Savage Is An Autistic Prodigy
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Matt Savage is a young musician who was diagnosed with autism when he was just three years old.
Although he didn’t like any type of noise or music as a child, he taught himself to play piano before he discovered jazz, which became his main focus.