Do you know anybody with Asperger Syndrome? You probably do. Asperger’s is a form of high functioning autism, and many people with autism have made enormous contributions to society. In fact, some of the world’s biggest and most well-known geniuses were autistic or had autistic tendencies. Here are 25 Famous People With Asperger Syndrome.
A famous movie director, Stanley was quite obsessive and had trouble dealing with people while making movies. While that sounds bad, his Asperger’s also led to his insane attention to detail and his eventual fame as a film director!
The Canadian actor said his Asperger’s helped him with the film Ghostbusters because he was obsessed with ghosts and law enforcement, both of which made him the perfect person for the role! For those of you that don’t know, Asperger’s can cause an individual to have intense focus on a narrow range of interests.
Thanks to his social awkwardness and hyperactive nature, it has been suggested that the late comedian likely had an autism spectrum disorder like Asperger’s. Unfortunately, he also battled depression. Autistic spectrum disorders can lead to the classic “troubled artist” stereotype.
The famous Renaissance artist was notable for being unable to keep relationships with anybody. Some experts have even hypothesized that his troubled social life and Asperger’s symptoms led to a more intense focus on his art work, which also led him to become a ninja turtle. Okay, just kidding. We couldn’t resist.
The seismologist famous for creating the Richter scale measurement of earthquakes, Charles was also well known for his social awkwardness. Although he fared poorly in the give-and-take of a conversation, if you asked him to talk about earthquakes…he wouldn’t stop. These sorts of one-sided conversations are typical of Asperger’s.
The famous Scottish singer won 2nd place on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. Although she was diagnosed by doctors with “brain damage” at birth, the diagnosis was later shown to be wrong. She in fact has Asperger’s, which partly explained her lack of control over her emotions.
James was the 4th place winner on American Idol in 2011. And not only does he have Asperger’s, he also has Tourette. Apparently singing helps relieve his tics (from tourette) and also gives him a creative outlet with regards to Asperger’s.
Thanks to his love of routine, rigid nature, and history of depression, some psychologists have suggested that Lincoln had Asperger’s. Of course, all those traits led him to be the greatest president in history. Well, maybe except for the depression.
The British actor’s directorial debut Tyrannosaur is partly based on his Asperger’s. In spite of Asperger’s making it hard to read social cues, the disorder gifted him with intense focus that allowed him to overcome his deficits and become an award winning actor!
During early life, social interaction was a nightmare for Daryl. She would even rock back and forth to self-soothe. In spite of this, she went on to overcome the odds and become a well known Hollywood actress who starred in several films during the 1980s, notably Splash.
A famous animal scientist, due to Temple’s autism she is able to relate better to the animals she studies. Apparently, what she lacks in human social intelligence, she more than makes up for when dealing with animals. She was even named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people.
Prince John of the United Kingdom
A 20th century British prince, John was known for his repetitive behaviors and seclusion. Although scientists and historians have been unable to piece together an exact diagnosis, some of John’s social ineptitude lines up with what psychologists would expect from Asperger’s.
The legendary rocker and widow of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, Courtney was diagnosed with autism at age 9. Although she is hesitant to discuss its exact manifestation, the singer has admitted that Asperger’s led to some level of introversion.
Due to his eccentric personality and repetitive art, it has been speculated that Andy had a form of autism, probably Asperger’s. In case you haven’t noticed by now, autism seems to be a major driver of creativity in some of the world’s most famous artists.
As an 18th century British scientist, Henry was notorious for his inability to deal with others as well as his obsession with patterns. Without a doubt, these autism inspired traits led him to be one of the greatest theoretical chemists and physicists of his time!
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
In spite of his social difficulties, he was a musical prodigy and wrote his first music at the age of 5. As you can once again see, the interesting and unique way that people with Asperger’s think leads to some of humanity’s greatest accomplishments.
Blind Tom Wiggins
In spite of being blind, Thomas learned to play piano at 4 years old and became the best known American pianist of the 19th century. Similar to Mozart, Tom’s Asperger’s helped him to hear and interpret music in a way that other people couldn’t.
Although it isn’t confirmed, some observers have noted that Bill Gates very well may have Asperger’s. His rocking back and forth, disdain for contradictory opinions, and legendary eccentricities all point to an autism spectrum disorder. In fact, these “amateur” observations have led many ordinary people with Asperger’s to see him as a hero.
Charles XII of Sweden
As the King of Sweden, Charles was known for being stubborn, doing exactly the same things over and over again, and not feeling empathy for others. So while being a scientist or artist with Asperger’s is cool, being King? Not so much.
James was a famous Irish author who was known for wearing an eyepatch (his eye was damaged). He is also famous for developing the stream of conscious writing style. It’s worth noting that although people with autism may struggle with expressing themselves to other people in person, they can be very expressive in writing.
The Canadian pianist and Bach interpreter was notorious for his love of routine. He would even use the same stool until it wore straight through. Repetition and obsession are two common traits of people with Asperger’s. Stubbornness (which Glenn exhibited) would also be a symptom.
The Russian-American scientist was famous for writing I, Robot. As we just mentioned, many people with Asperger’s are prolific writers. In fact, Isaac wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards!
In 2008, a Pentagon think tank study found that Putin probably has some form of autism. They couldn’t be sure, however, that it was Asperger’s. They did, however, say that Putin’s “neurological development was significantly interrupted in infancy.”
Emily is possibly one of the most famous poets of all time, and given that she likely had Asperger’s, you shouldn’t be surprised at all.
Several leading psychologists have noted that Thomas Jefferson probably had some form of autism. Apparently he was shy, had an inability to relate to others, and was sensitive to loud noises. He also had some strange habits, like keeping a mocking bird on his shoulder, perhaps to calm him down during social interactions. Unfortunately, most documents pertaining to his early life were lost in a fire, so it is not possible for psychologists to assess his childhood behavior for signs of autism.
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