Five Well-Known People With Autism
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Tim Burton
- Andy Warhol
- Alexis Wineman
- Temple Grandin
People tend to have a very narrow vision of what a person with autism is like. The truth is, autism is a spectrum. No two people with autism are exactly the same. Furthermore, some of the traits of autism actually result in above average functioning and ability in certain areas. It is therefore no surprise that many highly successful and famous people have autism, and most people do not even realize it. Here are five famous people with autism.
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Because of their heightened and sensitive sensory perception, many individuals with autism are musically inclined. Many people with autism actually express themselves with music more efficiently than with words. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one such individual. Written historical accounts of Mozart reveal him to have been easily bored and almost always moving his hands, feet, or face. These are characteristics shared by both many musicians and many other people with autism.
People with autism often possess unique and extraordinary creative talent. Whether or not you like his work, most people would certainly agree that this applies to Tim Burton. People with autism experience sensations very intensely, to the point where it can be overwhelming and distracting. Many people might describe Tim Burton’s work in these terms, which is part of what makes his movies so fascinating. On the other hand, Tim Burton, like many with autism, often struggles to focus.
Similar to music and movie production, many people with autism find it easier to express themselves through art than through words. Their art often reflects other autistic characteristics. Andy Warhol is thought to have been autistic on account of the repetitiveness of his pieces. People with autism tend to repeat certain phrases or actions as a method of organizing the often overstimulating amount of information they receive through their heightened senses. The Guardian explains more about the theory of Andy Warhol and autism.
Perhaps the eccentric works of Andy Warhol, Tim Burton, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart leave one with little surprise that they are believed to have autism. In contrast, Alexis Wineman, known to some as Miss Montana, became the first contestant with autism in the history of the Miss America Pageant. She explained to CNN that while autism may have caused her some challenges in life, she feels that overcoming them made her stronger, and she refuses to be defined by autism. She is a true inspiration for every individual living with autism.
Animal sciences professor and author Temple Grandin is another influential individual who has gone very public about her experiences with autism. Like many people with autism, she did not speak until she was three years old, leaning instead on communication through unintelligible screaming and other speechless sounds. She is one of the most widely known advocate for the possibilities available to people with autism. She proves that these individuals can rise above their challenges and in doing so, unleash their abilities.
These five people demonstrate that autism is only a disorder if the people living with it are held to everyday standards. They may not think, behave, or communicate like other people. However, this is exactly what also gives them the potential for great success and influence.