Autism is a disorder with symptoms including impaired social interaction, delayed or disrupted verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behavior. Autism can be caused through genetics or by agents that cause birth defects.
Famous people with autism include Albert Einstein and other historical figures who are suspected to have had autism, which wasn't classified as a disorder until the 1940s. Einstein is thought to have had autism because he experienced language delays and educational slowness. Other historical figures who are thought to have had autism include Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and Mozart.
Hole front woman Courtney Love was diagnosed with a mild case of autism as a child. Daryl Hannah has struggled with autism all her life and says the disorder made her “terrified of fame.” Author Temple Grandin is one of the most famous women with autism. Grandin works for the causes of animal rights and autistic rights.
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Prison Break's Wentworth Miller shared a note on Instagram in July 2021 with a heartfelt message to fans:
"Like everyone, life in quarantine took things from me. But in the quiet/isolation, I found unexpected gifts. This fall marks 1 year since I received my informal autism diagnosis. Preceded by a self-diagnosis. Followed by a formal diagnosis. It was a long, flawed process in need of updating. IMO. I'm a middle-aged man. Not a 5-year-old. And (it's a "both/and") I recognize access to a diagnosis is a privilege many do not enjoy. Let's just say it was a shock. But not a surprise."
Miller also thanked people he's worked with over the years who unknowingly respected his then-undiagnosed condition, adding, "Oh - I also want to say to the many (many) people who consciously or unconsciously gave me that extra bit of grace + space over the years, allowed me to move thru the world in a way that made sense to me whether or not it made sense to them... thank you."
- Age: 50
- Birthplace: Chipping Norton, England
Elon Musk revealed his diagnosis while hosting Saturday Night Live in May 2021. During the opening monologue, he said, "I don't always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak... which I'm told makes for great comedy. I'm actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger's to host SNL."
Asperger's falls under the autism "umbrella."
- Age: 51
- Birthplace: Pretoria, South Africa
- Photo: Westworld / HBO
Anthony Hopkins revealed in a 2017 interview that he was diagnosed with Asperger's, which falls under the autism "umbrella" - in 2014.
- Age: 84
- Birthplace: Margam, United Kingdom
- Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
In November 2014, Jerry Seinfeld told Brian Williams on NBC's Nightly News that he believes he's on the autism spectrum. "I think, on a very drawn-out scale, I think I'm on the spectrum."
"Basic social engagement is really a struggle. I'm very literal, when people talk to me and they use expressions, sometimes I don't know what they're saying," Seinfeld said. "But I don't see it as dysfunctional, I just think of it as an alternate mindset."Source: NBC
- Age: 68
- Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York