Today is International Asperger’s Day, although medical professionals now see the syndrome as part of the autism spectrum and not separate.
So, we’re celebrating 9 heroes who either are – or may have been – on the autism spectrum.
Please, celebrate with us.
And here they are – in no particular order.
#1. Greta Thunberg
We’ve all heard of Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who started the (now) global #fridaysforfuture climate strikes.
She has made it her message to hold adults responsible for halting and reversing climate change. With urgency. To act as if the house is on fire because – as she puts it – it literally is.
But did you know that Greta is able to speak her truth to power (and particularly US president Donald Trump) because she has Asperger syndrome.
She describes it as a gift.
And she’s right, it is. For all of us and the future she’s fighting for.
#2. Charles Darwin
At least one medical expert believes that Charles Darwin, the man who developed the theory of Evolution, had Asperger syndrome.
He notes that Darwin’s famous attention to detail and ability to focus were characteristic of the syndrome.
This view is likely to be as controversial as Darwin himself…
Read the full story here.
#3. Satoshi Tajiri
You’ve probably never heard of Mr Tajiri – but you have definitely heard of his most favourite invention – Pokémon.
The man himself is something of a recluse and seldom speaks of his autism spectrum diagnosis. But isn’t it strange to think that the world might have missed out on the Pokémon sensation without this amazing man’s Asperger syndrome creativity.
You can find out more here.
#4. Marie Curie
Marie Curie was not only the first woman to win the Nobel prize for Physics, but also the first person to win it twice (in 1903 and 1911).
These prizes were a reward for her and her husband Pierre’s work on radiation and radioactivity.
Some people believe she had Asperger syndrome.
You can read more about Mme Curie here.
#5. Alan Turing
The Allies may not have won World War II had it not been for the work of Alan Turing in cracking the Nazis’ Enigma code.
You may remember seeing his story in the movie “The Imitation Game”.
But the world today would truly not be the same without him. He’s sometimes called the “Father of the Computer” and did early work on artificial intelligence.
#6. Albert Einstein
Although he was never diagnosed, there is a school of thought that Albert Einstein was on the autism spectrum with what used to be called Asperger syndrome.
And wouldn’t the world be a poorer place if this genius had not lived or been able to think the way he did.
You can read more here
#7. Bobby Fischer
Bobby Fischer – World Chess Champion – may well have had Asperger Syndrome, according to this article.
His amazing chess talent attracted many people to playing the board game. And although he was notorious in some circles, our world is definitely better for having had him.
#8. Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh was a famously troubled artist who’s amazing colourful works have become world famous. Although he did not sell a single painting in his own lifetime.
One of his most famous works – Starry Night – was painted from inside an asylum.
Now there is a school of thought that he had Asperger syndrome – the cause of his brilliant talent.
#9. Daryl Hannah
Do you remember the mermaid in “Splash”?
Well actress Daryl Hannah has Asperger Syndrome and has helped many people through her public advocacy.
Here you can watch the moment she told Hollywood – and the world.