April is ‘National Autism Awareness Month‘. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability that typically appears in early childhood. ASD can affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. For signs and symptoms click Here.
The last few years have been incredible for the understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those affected by it. While autism is a disorder, a diagnosis does not mean that people on the spectrum are unable to achieve great things. Below is a short list of inspiring individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and there are many more.
5 Inspiring People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Dan Akroyd – Actor, comedian, musician, and filmmaker.
Canadian born, Akroyd is best known for his role in Ghostbusters (1984), a movie he also co-wrote, and his role as Elwood Blues in The Blues Brothers (1980). He has won 4 Emmy Awards, received an honorary Doctorate of Literature from Carleton University in 1994 and was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2002.
Peter Howson – Artist
Peter Howson is a Scottish painter and was the British official war artist in the 1993 Bosnian Civil War. His work is exhibited in many major collections and in November 2010, BBC Scotland aired a documentary named “The Madness of Peter Howson”. The film followed the final stages of the completion of a grand commission for show in the renovated St Andrew’s Cathedral and also dealt with Howson’s struggle with mental illness and Asperger’s Syndrome. Howson’s daughter also struggles with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and he says watching her has inspired him to confront his own disorder and help others.
Alexis Wineman – Miss America Contestant and autism advocate
Wineman is the first known autistic contestant to compete in the Miss America pageant. She was named Miss Montana 2012 and won the “America’s Choice” award at the Miss America 2013 pageant. Alexis is an active advocate for autism and appeared in a CNN interview to discuss her struggles with ASD.
Carly Fleischmann – Youtuber and writer
Carly Fleischmann is an extraordinary young woman who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, oral-motor apraxia and cognitive delay as a child. Through years of persistent therapy and hard work, Carly learned to spell and her voice eventually found its way out. Carly has proven that you can’t judge a person by appearance: her IQ has been confirmed to exceed 130 and her “inner voice” is funny, insightful and passionate. Carly is able to speak through her computer and has provided amazing insight into autism in her book “Carly’s Voice: Breaking Through Autism” and through her powerful YouTube videos.
Satoshi Tajiri – Video game designer
Satoshi Tajiri is a Japanese video game designer who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is best known as the creator of Nintendo’s Pokemon franchise. Tajiri is also the founder of video game developer Game Freak and he wrote and edited for his own video gaming fanzine, which had the same name as the development company he later founded.
This is just a small sample of the many people who have been diagnosed with ASD and have still managed to achieve their dreams. Throughout history, there are many well-known individuals who are speculated to have had, have been diagnosed with, or who have shown signs of having Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Hans Christian Andersen, Mozart, Andy Warhol, William Butler Yeats, Sir Isaac Newton, Michelangelo, Steve Jobs, Jerry Seinfeld, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Lewis Carroll, and Nikola Tesla. They serve as a reminder that anything is possible.
Until Next Time,
Don’t let anyone or anything define who you are.