Autistic Pride Day: 8 famous personalities with autism

Some of the world's most famous people were born or diagonsed in later life as having autistic disorders like Asperger's syndrome and Tourette's. On Autistic Pride Day, we look at 7 such eminent names...

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein: Researchers in the UK believe that eminent scientist and physicist Albert Einstein, displayed classic signs of Asperger's syndrome. They point to Einstein's eccentricity, social ineptitude in early and later life, obbsession with complex topics and passionate attitude as definite traits. 

Darryl Hannah

Darryl Hannah: In September 2013, the Hollywood actress revealed that she has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. Darryl Hannah often rocked herself back and forth to soothe herself while in uncomfortable situations, which is known as stimming or self-stimulatory behavior. During her childhood, medical professionals recommended that the 'Kill Bill' actress be institutionalized and medicated.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Austrian composer, who was considered a child prodigy due to his ability to listen to music and then replay it after only hearing it once, reportedly had repeated facial expressions, unintentional constant motion of hands and feet, and a tendency toward jumping. His hearing was particularly intense and sensitive that loud sounds often effected him physically, making him sick. These behaviors have been regarded by some as auditory and motor fits or tics and their presence has been used to support the diagnosis of Tourettes syndrome or an autism spectrum disorder.

Courtney Love

Courtney Love: Famed American singer-actress and wife of the late legendary grunge rocker Curt Cobain was diagnosed with mild autism at age 9. In past interviews, she has discussed her poor academic performance while at school, struggle to make friends and poor social skills. 

Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd: The veteran Canadian actor revealed to have had Tourette syndrome as a preteen, which was successfully treated with therapy as well as mild Asperger syndrome, which did not exist as a medical term at the time. He revealed the idea for his 1984 hit film 'Ghostbusters' was actually inspired by his Asperger's. This was because one of his symptoms included obsession with ghosts and law enforcement. Aykroyd would carry a police badge with him all the time and was obsessed by ghost hunter Hans Holzer.


Michelangelo: The celebrated Italian painter had a lango’s single-minded work routine, unusual lifestyle, limited interests, poor social and communication skills, obsessional behavior, a fiery temper, and the propensity to be a loner, which could be high-function autism or asperger’s syndrome, say some researchers. Michelangelo's biographer Ascanio Condivi had observed that he was indifferent to food and drink, eating "more out of necessity than of pleasure" and that he "often slept in his clothes and ... boots."

Tim Burton

Tim Burton: The noted Hollywood filmmaker's possible autism was discovered by his then partner and frequent collaborator, actress Helena Bonham Carter while she was researching for her role in a TV film in which she played a mother to four autistic children. Carter says she he feels Burton has  some of the character traits of Asperger's syndrome like extreme intelligence despite lacking in social skills.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol: Researchers opine that the late American pop artist's love of uniformity, obsessive attention to detail all are classic symptoms of an autistic disorder. Warhol's social ineptitude, care to use the minimum of words in speech, difficulty recognising friends and obsession with the uniformity of consumer goods are each thought to be clues that Warhol was autistic to some degree.

About Austistic Pride Day
Austistic Pride Day is observed worldwide on June 18 to spread the message that autistic people are unique individuals who should not be seen as cases for treatment. It was first celebrated in 2005 by Aspies for Freedom and quickly became a global event which is still celebrated widely online. Autistic pride asserts that autistic people have a unique set of characteristics that provide them many rewards and challenges. 

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  • Megan19-Jun-2016

    Great post overall, butI was a tad bit confused where the author got the idea that Tourettes is a form of autism - they're occasionally comorbid, but tourettes is otherwise unrelated.

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