Autism is a medical condition that has varying degrees of severity. Some people with the disorder have gone on to lead fairly normal lives and have even reached levels of fame and celebrity status. Asperger’s Syndrome also falls under the umbrella of autism. There are many famous people who have been formally diagnosed with some form of autism. Some of them have had to overcome obstacles on their way up the social ladder because of the peculiar behaviors that autism may cause. In some cases, the quirky behaviors that are exhibited by famous people can help to boost their uniqueness and popularity with fans. For some, they have worked extremely hard to keep their autism under raps.
Here are 20 celebrities who have autism.
1. Courtney Love
The widow of the famous grunge singer Kurt Cobain, rose to stardom in her own right. She became a well known actress and singer/songwriter. At the age of nine, she was diagnosed with autism in a mild form. Courtney had struggles as a child. She was troubled as a young person and had a difficult home life, problems at school, being suspended from several, drug abuse and delinquent behaviors. It took years for her to rise above her personal issues, but she made a good life for herself and achieved celebrity status.
2. Matthew Labyorteaux
Matthew played Albert on “Little House on the Prairie.” He was diagnosed with autism and did not start talking until he was age 5 and he didn’t walk until he was 3. Matthew would sleep standing up in his crib and his adoptive parents could not touch him for a period of time. He went on to become a well known actor who currently works with charitable organizations that give aid to troubled young people.
3. Tim Burton
Burton has not formally been diagnosed by a physician but he and his wife Helena Bonham Carter are convinced that the famous director has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of autism. He exhibits signs of the disorder. The couple has done research into Aspergers and they are certain that he falls into the category of being mildly to moderately autistic.
4. Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd is another star who has been formally diagnosed with forms of autism. At 12 years of age, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and Tourettes. It was not until several years later, as an adult that his wife convinced him to go in for further testing. It was confirmed in the early 1980s that in addition to Asperger’s, he had severe obsessions with policemen and ghosts. As it happens, the “Ghostbuster” films are what helped to shoot his career skyward. Obsessions are common with people who have autism.
5. Daryl Hannah
Daryl was diagnosed with autism as a child. She is in her 50s now, and at the time she was examined, Asperger’s was not a common diagnosis. She was very shy as a child and she self-soothed herself with intense rocking, which is a common symptom. She didn’t like getting a lot of attention. She avoided the limelight whenever possible. She became famous as an actress in “Steel Magnolias,” “Splash” and “Blade Runner.” Hannah does a bit of light acting now and then, but she prefers to keep to herself and dedicate her life to environmentalism. She is not shy about joining in protests to save the planet.
6. Susan Boyle
Susan Boyle lived under the impression that she had brain damage, but this was not the case at all. The Scottish singer who gained fame on the stage of “Britain’s Got Talent,” was misled about the cause of her symptoms. She has recently received a professional diagnosis of Asperger’s. She shared with the press that she was quite relieved to know that her behaviors were the cause of a confirmed condition instead of damage to her brain.
Fans of the indie musician know her as Ladyhawke. The New Zealand singer was born as Phillipa Brown. She suffered from various medical conditions as a child. She was not diagnosed with Asperger’s until recently. She has had difficulty accepting it, but she does admit that it is because of this form of autism that she turned to music. It was one of her obsessions as a child, which is a common symptom. She turned her obsession into a lucrative and fulfilling career.
8. Matt Savage
Matt was a child prodigy who became a phenomenon in the world of Jazz. By the age of six, he had taught himself how to read piano music. By the time he was 8, he was performing for Dave Brubeck, Jazz master. Matt was diagnosed as a savant who is an autistic functioning at a high level. His disorder is known as Pervasive Development Disorder. The condition did not prevent him from achieving celebrity status, in fact, it is likely the thing that helped him to function at extraordinary levels in certain areas of his life.
9. James Durbin
At the age of ten, James was diagnosed with Aspserger’s and Tourette’s Syndromes. As a child, he experienced episodes of hyper focus, which is common with the diagnoses. He would scream into a pillow. He was not popular in school and was picked on by his peers. It was due to his disorders and the accompanying symptoms which set him apart from other kids and made him different. He went on to perform on the tenth season of American Idol and turned the event into a music career. He is at home on the stage and it is the place where his self-confidence is the highest.
10. Dan Harmon
Dan wasn’t aware that he was autistic, he just knew that he was different. Harmon is a producer who co-produces “Adult Swim,” among other off beat shows. It what when he was working on the NBC characer Abed, that he began to understand why he was different. He learned about autism, and immediately saw the similarities in his personality traits and behaviors. He did more research and eventually went to his doctor for an examination. The doctor tested for and confirmed a diagnosis of autism. The condition has not prevented Harmon from pursuing his dreams and crafting an amazing career in the entertainment business.
11. Heather Kuzmich
Heather was formally diagnosed with autism, but it didn’t stand in her way when she wanted to achieve a goal. Kuszich appeared in “America’s Next Top Model” with Tyra Banks. She achieved the rank of fifth place, which isn’t bad at all, considering the number of stiff competitors she was up against. Heather has a strong desire to stand as a role model for girls who are troubled. Look at what she’s accomplished! Viewers voted her as their favorite in the 8th week of the show.
12. Alexis Wineman
Alexis was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder, which is the highest level of autism, yet she functioned in her life. The beauty became Miss Montana and represnted her state at the Miss America pageant. She earned the distinction of being the first girl in the history of the contest with autism. There is a lot of stress and social anxiety associated with the prestigious pageant. These influences are known to make the condition worse, but Alexis managed herself superbly. Her composure was nothing short of amazing. She is living proof that people with autism can still function at high levels in society and make great contributions.
13. Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was one of the greatest minds in the world. He was known as being odd, but he was able to deliver remarkable theories that were far above the adult cognition of his time. He was autistic, as Isaac Newton also was. The Cambridge and Oxford scientist gave us the theories of gravity, relativity and multiple theories on energy which have proven to be true. He is responsible for advancement of these topics in the technological arena.
14. Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick had a hard time adapting to new things in his life. He also had interests that become obsessive, he was poor at being sociable and he evidenced many traits which are associated with autism. The renowned filmmaker has recently been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. The diagnosis was delivered posthumously when Viktoria and Dr. Michael Fitzgerald analyzed the late filmmaker’s lifestyle and habits. His success in the film industry is proof that the condition that he struggled with did not prevent hi from becoming one of the most well-known and respected filmmakers in the business.
15. Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld has self-diagnosed himself with autism. While the condition has yet to be confirmed through medical testing, the actor is convinced that based on his personality traits and habits, that he falls somewhere in the spectrum of autism. Seinfeld starred in the popular sitcom for years, making his name practically a household word.
16. Temple Grandin
Temple is an influencer and she speaks out on behalf of people who suffer with autism. She seeks to raise awareness of the condition and she freely shares her own experiences with the condition quite publicly. She went through her entire childhood being undiagnosed. It is believed that she didn’t receive th official confirmation until she was in her forties.
17. Paddy Considine
Paddy, known for his direction of the 2011 film “Tyrannosaur” was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. He shared that he believes that the condition has actually helped him to achieve success in his chosen profession. He was tremendously relieved when he was diagnosed at the age of 36 because it gave him insight into why he felt and behaved in the ways that he did. He had difficulty with his social skills and with communication. The things that once did not make sense to him are beginning to take shape as he understands more about himself. It was after the initial diagnosis that he questioned his identity. He confirmed that now that he knows, he is more free to move on with his life.
18. Charles Richter
Charles Richter was born in the spring of 1900. He was an American seismologist who became famous for his work in measuring the strength of earthquakes. The internationally famous Richter Scale, which is the standard measurement for earthquake magnitudes used around the world to this day. It was not until after his death that Susan Hough began to further investigate Richter’s oddities. Interviews with people who knew him revealed that he was shy and introverted. He seemed to live a contradictory life. He would sit with a telephone in his lap waiting for someone to call and report an earthquake. He had a yearning to connect with people so he could share what he knew with them, but he did not have the social skills to do so. In interviews, he maintained one sided conversations that were pedantic and stiff. Richter showed the classic signs of Asperger’s Syndrome. He passed away in 1985 without having been formally diagnosed.
Govy is a French artist who has won acclaim for her work despite her rather odd interpretations and behaviors. She is on the autism spectrum with her diagnosis being completed in 2013. She has earned a reputation for her art through the Serial Bondage installations. Her work is proudly placed on display at some of the most prestigious centers around the world. She is aware of her condition, but it is a part of who she is as an artist. Govy stands as proof of what a person with a diagnosis of autism can achieve in their lifetimes. She is a visual artist who has won multiple awards for her craft.
20. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The brilliant composer has long been deceased but theorists who have taken a closer look at his life and what is known about his personality and his talents declare that the man was on the autism spectrum and was most likely to have Asperger’s Syndrome. He possessed the traits which include sensitivity to sound, he was anti-social and he suffered from mood swings. His brilliance in writing music was most likely a result of his hyper sensitivity to sound as it enabled him to have a greater understanding of what constituted beautiful music.
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