Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because of the wide variations in the type and severity of symptoms people experience. It is a struggle to learn to live with it, but not impossible.
Due to lack of awareness, Autism was always thought of as this dark cloud that sucks the life out of people who have it and drastically downgrades the quality of their lives.
And since yesterday, April 2nd, was Autism Awareness day, we decided to look back at some of the autistic heroes who have broken the Autism stigma over the years and managed to lead wonderful lives with it.
1. Albert Einstein
Einstein, who is one of the most famous and influential physicists and mathematicians in the world, is thought to have lived with Autism. Even though, there is no official proof or diagnosis from Einstein’s life, it is known that the genius experienced severe speech delays and later echolalia, in addition to the habit of repeating sentences to himself. All these clues led researchers to believe that Einstein landed somewhere on the Autism spectrum.
2. Courtney Love
Singer/songwriter Courtney Love was diagnosed as “mildly autistic” in her childhood. While considered to be a musical genius, the rock star described her childhood as difficult, explaining that she struggled with school and basic social interactions. Yet, she managed to grow up to be a rock star and the front woman of the alternative rock band Hole.
3. Jerry Seinfeld
World-class comedian Jerry Seinfeld said in an interview on NBC’s Nightly News in 2014 that he believes that he lands on the Autism spectrum. He built his self-diagnosis on the fact that he struggles with basic social engagement, and that he has been described as too literal when it came to communication. But Seinfeld stated that he doesn’t see Autism as dysfunctional, he rather thinks of it as an “alternate mindset”.
4. Daryl Hannah
Actress and environmental activist Daryl Hannah has only publicly declared that she is autistic 5 years ago. And ever since then she has been nothing but vocal and honest about her experience with Autism and the challenges she faces on daily basis. The Blade Runner Star has helped raise awareness about how to cope with diagnosis like her own without letting it steal away your life, and she has led by such a fine example.
5. Sir Anthony Hopkins
Oscar-winning actor, director, and producer Sir Anthony Hopkins was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in his 70s. The iconic star has been able to shed a light on the positive side of Autism which most people are likely to look past when he said “I don’t go to parties, I don’t have many friends. But I do like people. I do like to get inside their heads. I definitely look at people differently.”
These amazing heroes and so many more have proven by example that while being on the Autism spectrum can be challenging, it can also be a source of strength and a secret superpower.
And in honor of Autism Awareness Week, we thank them for leading incredible lives, and using their ‘autistic superpowers’ in creating amazing art, and breaking misconceived stigmas.
As for all the other heroes out there who are doing just as good of a job, we wish you an incredible week, and awesome lives like yourselves!
Happy Autism Awareness Day, everyone!