Discover the causes, characteristics and myths surrounding autism. Learn more about what it’s like to live with and manage autism. The facts are surprising.
Autism is described as a development disorder affecting one in every 100 people. However, there are many positive sides to autism, which are often not explained in textbooks.
What is autism?
Autism is described as a development disorder affecting one in every 100 people. However, there are many positive sides to autism, which are often not explained in textbooks. Autistic people are usually “gifted, passionate, diverse and imaginative”. Author Temple Grandin describes people with autism as “different but not less”.
According to medical professionals, Autism affects how a person makes sense of the world around them in terms of communication and relating to others.
Autism is often referred to as ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’ (AED). This term describes a common group of disorders including but not limited to:
- Asperger’s Syndrome
- Pervasive Development Disorder (Atypical Autism)
- Autism (the most common form)
According to reports, approximately 80 percent of people diagnosed with autism also appear to have an intellectual disability.
Disabilities associated with Autism
ASD can also occur in tandem with other disabilities. These include:
- Down Syndrome
- Cerebral Palsy
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
- Psychiatric Disorders
Society’s views on Autism
In society’s eyes, people with autism are sometimes thought to experience impaired communication, poor social skills and low creativity. They are often described as ‘acting in a repetitive and ritualistic’ way.
But this can be mainstream perception and often the opposite is true.
As Grandin described, autistic people are ‘difficult but no less’ than anyone else. They LIVE their WAY and make their own vital CHOICES every day, just like everybody else. That’s why this is SASI’s motto.
Your life. Your way. Your Choice.
Throughout history, autistic people have proven to be incredibly gifted. They can communicate well and form excellent relationships with others. they can also be highly creative and successful. They’ve proven that the ‘repetitive and ritualistic behavior’ described above can be an asset rather than the prescribed disability. Many amazing, successful and famous people in the world have been diagnosed by doctors as autistic. Many amazing, successful and famous people in the world have been diagnosed by doctors as autistic.
FAMOUS PEOPLE IN HISTORY WITH AUTISM
Many gifted famous people were thought to be autistic
Einstein had difficulty with social interactions, had tactile sensitivity, was very intelligent yet found his language difficult at times, and had difficulty learning in school.
Reportedly had repeated facial expressions and unintentional constant motion of his hands and feet. It was also believed that Mozart’s hearing was very sensitive and intense and loud sounds made him feel physically sick.
SIR ISAAC NEWTON
Newton was very quiet and not very good at ‘small talk’, or typical day to day conversations. He was extraordinarily focused on his work and had a hard time breaking away. He was often so focused that he forgot to eat during these times of intense focus.
Michelangelo’s artistic genius may have been a symptom of autism. Two doctors, Dr. Arshad and Professor Fitzgerald said, “Michelangelo’s single-minded work routine, unusual lifestyle, limited interests, poor social and communication skills and various issues of life control appear to be features of high-function autism or asperger’s syndrome.”
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
American poet regarded as one of the greatest poets. Her poems were in a number of ways unconventional for their time. Dickinson was a prolific poet but was not well known in her lifetime. She was very reclusive and considered eccentric but she had a good rapport with children.
Janet Frame ONZ CBE (1924-2004)
Changed name to Nene Janet Paterson Clutha but known by original name, New Zealand writer of fiction, poetry and widely known for her three volumes of autobiography that the movie An Angel at My Table was based upon. Her father was an engine driver.
Note: You’ll notice there are numerous men on this list. That’s because autism appears to be more prevalent in men than women. Statistics show, there are four times more males with autism than females. Here’s a comprehensive list of more famous people with Autism.