Greetings fellow mammals! As I CAN Network’s 5th birthday approaches, our Top 5 series continues here on Grapevine. Today we’ll be looking at some famous folks on the spectrum; enjoy!
With a resume including classics such as Blade Runner and Kill Bill, Daryl’s acting career spans four decades. As a child she was diagnosed with autism, and the “experts” of the time recommended that she be institutionalized. Instead, she went to achieve international fame and success.
A remarkably gifted singer from Scotland, Susan stunned audiences in 2009 when she appeared on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent. She has since gone on to become a successful artist, selling more than 19 million albums and earning two Grammy nominations. Only in her 50s did Susan discover that she was on the spectrum.
Some of you probably haven’t heard of Henry Cavendish, which is not surprising; he led a relatively reclusive life. He was however a brilliant scientist, whose insights into physics and chemistry were decades ahead of his time; he is credited with the discovery of hydrogen, and performing an experiment in 1797-1798 that calculated the density of the Earth to within 1% of its currently known value.
His behaviour was considered peculiar by his colleagues at the time, and many modern observers believe their accounts describe a classic case of autism.
A far more well-known figure, Temple was one of the first people on the spectrum to publically speak out about her experiences. Her activism has helped to increase awareness and acceptance of autism worldwide, in turn helping to improve the lives of countless people. In addition to being a famous advocate, she’s also a professor at Colorado State University.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock since 1996, you’ve probably heard of Pokémon. This international craze was the invention of Satoshi Tajiri, who based it on his Autistic special interest; collecting insects.
Few people can claim to have sparked one of the biggest pop culture phenomena of the past century, but Satoshi can say so with pride.
And there you have it; 5 Autistics who achieved fame and success through channelling their strengths and interests. Stay tuned for more article in our Top 5 series as our 5th Birthday approaches, and in the meantime, stay awesome!
Max Williams, Editor