ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder, more commonly called as Autism is a malady with a varied range of severity. The people encounter various difficulties mainly under three heads in the society: communication, interaction and imagination. While low levels of autism can make a person show asymptomatic behavior with what being mistaken to be as indifference, the people with higher levels have thinking and creativity out of the box. They face problems in adjusting with the world on social terms as it gets difficult for them to relate and respond to the same. While people shy away from talking about such disorders, here’s a list of some of the renowned people who suffered from the same and were open about it too. With their success making a mark in the world history we can get inspired and enlightened from their saga of achievement despite their cachexia.
Michelangelo’s exceptional artistic talent can be attributed to his autistic symptoms. His work routine, bizarre lifestyle, finite interests, poor social and communication skills were characteristic of his high-function autism. His one track mind, a fiery temper, and the tendency to be a loner were all signs of autism. If his routine was disrupted, it would cause him utter frustration. He was considered to be strange and preoccupied in his own thoughts. These characteristics are thought to be the ones behind his extremely creative and artistic mind.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president and writer of the Declaration of Independence was shy, could not relate to other people, encountered difficulties in public speaking and was sensitive to loud noises. He faced difficulties financially. Although he kept a proper record of all of his expenditures, he died in debt. He was obsessed with remodeling his home. He had some unusual habits like wearing slippers to important meetings and always had a mocking bird on his shoulder. However, since there are no records of his childhood it is difficult to precisely say how this disorder developed in him.
Emily Dickinson was an American poet who was not really renowned during her lifetime but after her demise her poems became very popular. She was a prolific poet whose poems were offbeat for the time. She was thought to be eccentric but was a great friend of little children. She usually wore white clothes and was obsessed with scented flowers. Her sense of smell was impeccable. Along with autism, she is also said to be suffering from epilepsy which ran in her family.
Darwin was a single child and as he grew to be an adult, he avoided as much interaction as he could with other people. He often wrote letters, but maintained distance from face-to-face communication. His only mode of communication was through letters. This is characteristic of other autistics who opted other ways of communication rather than direct speaking. Darwin collected many things and was captivated by chemistry and gadgets. He was an obsessive and ritualistic person.
Sir Isaac Newton
Newton was very quiet and extremely focused on his work. So much so that often he forgot to eat during these times of intense focus. This trait is very commonly found in autistics and this deep focus often bars other things that are likely to catch an individual’s attention. Newton was not good at making or keeping close ones as he did not come off as friendly, nor did he know how to talk to people he called friends. He was very particular of his routine, if he had been scheduled to give a lecture, that lecture would happen whether there was an audience or not.
Mozart had monotonous facial expressions and unintentionally constantly moved his hands and feet. It was believed that Mozart’s hearing was very sensitive and loud sounds made him feel physically sick. He was hyperactive and unable to carry on an intellectual conversation and had frequent mood swings. Mozart was an amusing character who hurdled over tables and chairs, meowed like a cat and did somersaults.
Einstein was a brilliant person yet had difficulty learning in school. Einstein had a hard time at school because he could not get the special teaching methods and techniques that many autistic children need. Because of his inability to have social interactions with others, he found it difficult to get a job despite his intelligence. He had a lack of desire for food and did not care what he ate and completed his meals with no complaints. Einstein’s marriage was a difficult phase but he had three children. Einstein was very different and it was this that made him develop ideas that sought him fame.
3. Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah was diagnosed with autism as a child. Her isolation built in her love for old movies and shaped her interest in acting. Hannah’s acting career has lasted for more than three decades. She has starred in some of the very well known of films, including “Wall Street,” “Grumpy Old Men,” and the “Kill Bill” movies. She is also an environmental activist. She believes that she loses all her fears when she gets passionate and attached towards something.
Temple Grandin is an American professor, a best-selling author and a livestock autistic consultant. She was on the Times 100 list of the hundred most influential people in the world in the “Heroes” category. She was diagnosed as early as two years of age and had delayed speech development. She invented a ‘hug box’ when 18 to give her relief from stress. Besides her work, she loves science fiction, movies and her interest in biochemistry is beyond words.
Durbin is one of the American Idol season 10 contestant, who released his new single, “Parachute,” lately was first diagnosed at age 10. Music to him is a medicine which can cure you of all diseases and provide you relief in times of stress. Music helped him to cope with bullying growing up. He disclosed on CNN that after coming home from school, he would lose himself in his world of music regardless of how his day went. Since it was he who was the master of that music he would make it as sad or happy as he wanted it to. This refuge in music made him what he today is.
Despite their disorders the people on the list above made it big. Their shortcoming became their strength and not weakness. It should dawn upon us the realization that no person with any shortcoming or disability is less in any way. Let’s not look down upon anyone as inferior because you never know that person might be an absolute genius.Let’s pledge to be inspired and take charge of our lives and live them with full zeal despite any hardships we may face.