Autism is a complex neurological disorder that lasts a lifetime. It cannot be cured but a lot of studies have been carried on in the last two decades. People and children with autism are more understood nowadays. Autism can be divided in three branches: Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) and Autism. Asperger syndrome is close to autism and has similar symptoms, were affected people having difficulty in communication. Autism like Asperger’s hinders people’s ability to communicate effectively with others; they are bound with repetitive behavior and rigid routine. Autism and Asperger Syndrome symptoms can vary from mild to quite severe. There are many famous people with autism who have achieved everything in this world which seems impossible to others.
Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955): When we look out for famous physicians and scientist, who made the revolutionary changes in the world of modern physics, Albert Einstein is surely the most popular one. His day dreaming nature and his past family record showed the signs of autism. However, he had a good sense of humor and is also regarded as a special type of Asperger’s syndrome. He even had difficulties in social interactions and was quite sensitive about personal life. Right from his school days, he had a hard time learning new things which the normal kids could easily grasp up. It’s hard to believe that a person like him with such high IQ level could fall behind in school. His difficulties in social interaction made it difficult for him to find a job despite his intelligence.
Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791): Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a name who is considered to be the father of modern western music. He was a music composer and a skilful pianist, violinist of the classical period. The modern world of music still gets inspired from his profound music experiments. He lived an isolated life and was well focused and dedicated to his art. He was said to have Asperger’s syndrome and was quite sensitive towards sound. It was also believed that Mozart had difficulties with intellectual conversation and he existed in a careless and reckless way with impolite and frequent mood change. All the written evidences that we have from Mozart’s music notes prove that he had echolalia, which can be regarded as autism.
Temple Grandin (August 29, 1947): Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Temple is an American doctor of animal science. Grandin’s parents Richard Grandin and Eustacia Cutler came to know that their daughter, who was 2 years old, was an autistic. Thus she was put in a structured nursery school. Grandin suffered from delayed speech development and she began to talk at the age of four. She attended the Hampshire Country School, which was a boarding school for gifted children. After graduating in 1966, Grandin went to Franklin Pierce College to do her bachelors in Psychology in 1970. She got her master’s degree in animal science from Arizona State University in 1975 and her doctoral degree from University of Illinois in 1989. In 2010 Grandin was listed in the top 100 influential people of the world in heroes’ category by Time 100. Grandin has been working to spread the awareness of autism among people. She believes that early interference in autism and with proper guidance, children suffering from autism can also excel in any field like normal children.
Daryl Hannah (December 3, 1960): Born in Chicago, Illinois, Daryl Christine Hannah is an American film actress. This 52 year old actress has worked in over 50 movies including box office hits like Kill Bill and Splash. Hannah started her acting career in 1978 at the age of 17. Recently she was seen in Robbie Williams video song Feel. This famous actress recently revealed in her interview published in People Magazine that she was diagnosed with autism at a very early age. Hannah has Asperger Syndrome and thus she believes that this has also affected her acting career.
Courtney Love (July 9, 1964): Born in San Francisco, Courtney Love is an American Musician, author, song writer and actress. Courtney was diagnosed as mildly autistic as a child. After her parents divorced, Courtney spent a lot of time in foster homes. Courtney started her own music band Hole in 1989. Courtney also had many rough relationships in her life. She was married to James Moreland in 1989; in 1992 she married Nirvana fame Kurt Cobain. On her 40th birthday in 2004 Love attempted to commit suicide.
David Byrne (May 14, 1952): Born in Dumbarton, Scotland, Byrne is an Oscar winner musician who now lives in America. Byrne was always interested in music but was rejected from his school choir. He learnt to play guitar and in 1971 opened his band named Talking Heads. Byrne also had Asperger’s Syndrome; besides this he said that in his early years he was a peculiar young man. Byrne also launched his music albums as a solo artist. Byrne has also soundtracks for various films like Wall Street.
Tim Burton (August 25, 1958): Born in Burbank, California, Timothy Walter Burton is an American film producer, writer, poet and animator. Tim has directed and produced over 30 films including box office hits like, Batman Begins, Planet of the Apes and Alice in Wonderland. Burton graduated from CalArts and started his career at Disney. After that he made various low budget films which were successful and were liked by people. In 1989 Burton got his first big budget movie Batman which became one of the biggest Box Office hits with a business of 400 million US dollars across the world. Burton has never been diagnosed with autism formally; however his wife Helena Bonham Carter diagnosed him for Asperger’s Syndrome informally.
Bob Dylan (May 24, 1941): Born in St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota, Bob Dylan is the legendary American musician and artist. College drop-out Dylan went to New York in 1961 in hope to visit his music idol Woody Guthrie. Dylan started playing in various clubs around Greenwich Village. In 1962 Dylan signed a contract with which turned out to be a career changing event for him. Dylan flew across Europe and America for various concerts and gained a lot of fame. In 1966 after his Europe tour Dylan had a fatal motorcycle accident which was not disclosed in public. Dylan was also not hospitalized after the accident but the accident gave him enough time to come out of the pressure he had built around him. In May 2000 Dylan won Polar Music Award and also his first Oscar award for his song Things Have Changed. Dylan is also one of those famous people who are suspected to be autistic. There have been rumors that he has been suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome though he never had any difficulty in addressing his audience.
Bill Gates (October 28, 1955): Born in Seattle, Washington, William Henry Bill Gates III is an American businessman and programmer. Former CEO and Chairman of the world’s largest personal computer software company, Bill gates is one of the world’s richest persons. Bill gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973 and went to Harvard College. Gates founded Microsoft with Paul Allen in 1975. Bill Gates is also suspected to be affected with Autism. Bill Gates might have Asperger’s Syndrome, however it is not confirmed.
Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987): Born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Andy Warhol was an American artist popularly known for his visual art movement called the Pop Art. Warhol studied art at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburg. Warhol became famous with his ink drawings of shoe advertisements in 1950′s. Warhol died in his sleep because of cardiac arrhythmia in New York. Andy Warhol is also suspected that he had Asperger’s Syndrome, but as like Bill Gates this is also not confirmed.
Woody Allen (December 1, 1935): Born in New York, Woody Allen an American actor, director, screen writer, comedian and musician. 23 times Academy Award nominee, Woody Allen has given some of the finest movies to his audience. His most popular movies include Manhattan, Annie Hall and Midnight in Paris. Woody Allen is also suspected to have Asperger’s Syndrome but not formally proven.
Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009): Born in Gary, Indiana, Michael Joseph Jackson, popularly known as the King of Pop was an American singer, songwriter and dancer. In 1965 he started his music scene with his brothers and named it as The Jackson 5. In 1971 he began his solo career and by 1980 he had become famous in popular music. Jackson holds the Guinness World Record of winning highest number of Grammy Awards i.e. 13. Jackson is also one of those celebrities who come in the list of suspected to have had Asperger’s Syndrome.
James Durbin (January 6, 1989): Born in Santa Cruz, California, James William Durbin is an American singer and guitarist. The American Idol Fame Durbin was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and Tourette syndrome after his father’s death. His Father died because of a heroin overdose when Durbin was 9 years old. He finished in fourth place on the tenth season of American idol.
Dan Harmon (January 3, 1973): Born in Milwaukie, Wisconsin, Dan is an American producer and writer. Dan recently discovered that he had some symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome.
Dan Aykroyd (July 1, 1952): Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Aykroyd is a Canadian actor, writer comedian and singer. He gained fame from the American comedy show Saturday Night Live, where he worked as a writer. He was also the youngest cast member of first 4 seasons of the show. Aykroyd in an interview with Terry gross said that he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was a kid.