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11 Famous People with Autism

Updated on September 28, 2014

Do you know someone with autism?

These are the top 10 famous people with autism. ( Plus 1)

Autism is a disorder that affects the senses and how the brain works. People with autism have trouble with social interactions and have sensory issues.

If you are autisitic, or know someone who is, then you can consider yourself as a part of a very important and special group of people.

But in case you don't believe me, here are some famous people who have autism!

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1. Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin is the Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, autistic individual and autism advocate. She is the author of at least 9 books, some of which are about livestock and animals in general and the rest are about autism.

Before Temple's first book "Emergance: Labeled Autistic," was published in the 80's, very little was known about autism. It was thought that if a person was autistic, they were "trapped inside their mind" with no way of ever getting out. Temple Grandin proved them wrong!

There is also a movie about Temple Grandin that originally showed on HBO and is now out on DVD. Claire Danes does a remarkable job playing the part of Temple! If you know anyone with autism, I highly recommend reading any of her books!

Temple Grandin Movie starring Claire Danes - This is such a wonderful movie!

Buy the Temple Grandin Movie Here

Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin

24 hour rental of the movie through Amazon Instant Video for $3.99.

 
Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin

The actual, physical DVD. I've seen some of the used ones as low as $7.00!

 

Buy your books by Temple Grandin here:

Developing Talents: Careers For Individuals With Asperger Syndrome And High-functioning Autism- Updated, Expanded Edition
Developing Talents: Careers For Individuals With Asperger Syndrome And High-functioning Autism- Updated, Expanded Edition

Another highly recommended book by the good Dr. It's never too early to teach your child life skills!

 
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2. Albert Einstien

March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955

Physicist and Mathematician

Nobel Laureate for Physics 1921

Although we can never be truly sure because Einstien is gone now, many people believe that he was autistic. It has been reported that he did not speak until he was 3 years old and even then was not fluent with his language until the age of 9.

In addition to this, he has been observed as being rather eccentric, and a loner which are also characteristics of people on the autism spectrum.

Einstein published more than 300 scientific works and more than 150 non-scientific works. In 1999 Time magazine named him the "Person of the Century", and according to Einstein biographer Don Howard, "to the scientifically literate and the public at large, Einstein is synonymous with genius."

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3. Matthew Laborteaux

Matthew Laborteaux was adopted into the Laborteaux family when he was 9 months old. He was born with autism and he also had a hole in his heart. His most well known role is as Albert Quinn Ingalls from "Little House on the Prairie."

His other rolls are mostly guest appearances on lots of different television shows.

Some of them include:

The Bob Newhart Show

Lou Grant

The Love Boat

Simon and Simon

Highway to Heaven

Night Court and Silk Stalkings.

He doesn't really work in front of the camera anymore. But these days he's done a lot of voice over work in all kinds of movies!

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4. Daryl Hanna

Daryl Hannah was "blacklisted" from Hollywood because she suffered from Asperger's Syndrome.

But before you start a fight over discrimmination, please understand that she was terribly socially shy.

She did not like to go to talk shows, premiers or award cerimonies because it was so painful for her to do so.

She has admitted to almost ruining her career right from the beginning because she was terrified of doing promotions that involved talking to lots of people.

It is quite difficult for someone on the spectrum to engage in most social sitations and being famous can be extremely difficult.

I love movies; I love the fact that a movie can open your heart to someone else's reality. Daryl H.

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5. Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin definitely displayed autistic behaviors. An excrpt from The London News.net:

According to Prof Michael Fitzgerald of Dublin's Trinty College, Darwin had an extraordinary attention to detail but "had difficulties with social interaction."

"Asperger's syndrome gave Darwin the capacity to hyperfocus, the extra capacity for persistence, the enormous ability to see detail that other people missed, the endless energy for a lifetime dedication to a narrow task, and the independence of mind so critical to original research," he added.

Prof Fitzgerald believes that Darwin was a solitary child, and his emotional immaturity and fear of intimacy extended to adulthood.

"Darwin had a massive capacity to observe, to introspect and to analyse. From adolescence he was a massive systematiser, initially of insects and other specimens which he catalogued. He had a tremendously visual brain.

"He spent eight years studying barnacles, and wrote books on his observations of earthworms and even his own children. He was a rather obsessive-compulsive and ritualistic man.

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6. Sue Rubin

Autistic individual and author of Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone, Sue Rubin is a highly intelligent autism advocate and speaker who, at one time, was considered to be retarded as well as autistic.

She was introduced to Facilitated Communicacation (FC) - a method of communication where she could type her thoughts - when she was 13 years old and it was discovered that she was not retarded at all but so highly autistic that she had trouble expressing herself.

These days, Sue is a college student at Whittier College in California and when she is not doing her schoolwork, she travels to autism/special ed conferences around the country doing presentations and keynote addresses.

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7. Donna Williams

Donna Williams is the author of many books, some autobiographical, some text books on the autist spectum. They include:

--Nobody Nowhere,

--Somebody Somewhere,

--Like Color To The Blind,

--Everyday Heaven.

--Autism; An Inside Out Approach,

--Autism and Sensing; The Unlost Instinct,

--Exposure Anxiety; The Invisible Cage,

--The Jumbled Jigsaw.

She also has been the subject of documentaries, and the film "Nobody Nowhere." She is also an artist, screenplay, lecturer, consultant, singer, songwriter and performance artist.

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8. Arman Khodaei

Arman Khodaei is a high-functioning autistic adult who has written a book, A Boy in Wonderland, about his experience growing up on the autism spectrum. He is in the process of getting it published.

Arman is a public speaker who is teaching others about what it's like to be autistic and is working to raise autism awareness through his speaking engagements, blogs, and his YouTube series called Insights from an Autistic where he teaches people further how to communicate with autistic people.

Autism In Love - Sizzle Reel

The Importance of Self Respect

A very good entry in Arman's Vlog called Insights from an Autistic on YouTube

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9. Dylan Scott Pierce

Dylan Scott Pierce is an autistic artist who is world famous for his work. And oh yeah, he's been doing this since he was a teenager!

He was born in 1986 and at the age of 12, discovered that he was a genius at painting with watercolors. In 2007 he began using oil paints and was just as talented using them.

He prefers painting pictures of wildlife and "he has received local and national media attention. He has been profiled on National Geographic Today (2002), Wildlife Art Magazine (May/June 2003), Featured on QVC (April 2003-2004), Teen People Magazine (April 2005), and other organizations, December of 2004 kicked off Dylan's partnership with Busch Gardens." -- Wikipedia.

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10. Michelle Dawson

This is most of the information I could find ABOUT Michelle Dawson, Taken from Wikipedia:

"Michelle Dawson (born 1961) is an individual diagnosed with autism and an autism researcher. She has written a paper challenging the ethical and scientific foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)-based autism interventions. She also challenged the medical necessity of ABA for individuals with autism in the Supreme Court of Canada in Auton v. British Columbia, 3 S.C.R. 657. Dawson's work has generated considerable controversy. In the mid 2000s, Michelle Dawson joined Laurent Mottron's research team.

Dawson says that most scientists try to determine how autistic brains are broken, but Dawson thinks it would be more useful to try to determine how autistic brains work rather than how they are broken.

She has collaborated with Dr. Laurent Mottron to publish research papers, with Dr. Mottron estimating that Dawson contributes about 20% to the finished product.

But you can check out her website here:

No Autistics Allowed Explorations in discrimination against autistics

11. Eric Duquette - This was so wonderful!

This young man graduated in 2010 and gave a wonderful, inspirational and funny speech about his time in college.

A group of genuis people

So if you have autism, I want you to feel great about yourself! You are in the company of some great people who are, or have already, changed the world! If you know someone with autism, be considerate, treat them with the respect they deserve, and do your best to understand them. Autistic people are wonderful and will touch your heart like no other.

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    • profile image

      celeBritys4africA 6 years ago

      I had no idea about Einstein. A great lens.

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      JoshK47 6 years ago

      I wasn't aware of many of these - very excellent work on your lens.

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 6 years ago

      @celeBritys4africA: I know, isn't that cool!!!

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 6 years ago

      @JoshK47: Thank you very much! :-D

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      Torenada 6 years ago

      Love it! Many people diagnosed with autism are QUITE intelligent (my son included), and I am so glad to see this highlighted in your lense!

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 6 years ago

      @Torenada: Thank you! Most autistic people actually have average to above-average intelligence but are thought to be retarded because they cannot communicate these things to the "outside" world. I have a 12-year old son on the spectrum. My oldest.

    • musicloverr profile image

      musicloverr 6 years ago

      Thank you for posting this! I have high functioning autism and I want people to know that people with autism aren't incapable of doing anything, that many, in fact, have accomplished great things.

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 6 years ago

      @musicloverr: You are most welcome my friend! I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. Sometimes, I think that autistic people tend to accomplish a lot more then the average person because they do what they want and don't really care too much what other people think. They can, indeed, accomplish great things and these are only 10 examples of that truth.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 6 years ago

      Interesting, I had no idea that Albert Einstein had autism.

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 6 years ago

      @RuthCoffee: That was the suspicion. He displayed all of the characteristics of being autistic although I don't believe that it was a diagnosis back then. It was well noted that he did poorly in school. Also a common characteristic of autism. But he had the ability to look deep within to find his answers. I think that's where most autistic people spend their time. LOL!

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      nancyb110 6 years ago

      @Dianna206: Dear Diana,

      This give me hope for the future. I believe my son, 12, is on the spectrum, but Kaiser said no. He has great difficulty in communicating unless he is talking about his favorite shows, then he will talk you head off. Talking about emotions is very difficult, negative emotions extremely so. He has much trouble interacting with people ( and tolerating them) and has very sensitive senses: hearing, taste, sight, but mostly in regard to food and mouth noises (OCD ish). He is also ADHD and over the top. He has very little self-regulatory behavior. He does not wish to "succeed" like his brothers. He just wants to be left alone. It is soooo hard to try.

      I would appreciate any advice/insight you can give!

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 6 years ago

      @nancyb110: Nancy. Well, I'm not a psychiatrist or any kind of doctor but based on what you told me about your son, it seems entirely possible that he could be on the spectrum. Maybe a mild form of PDDNOS (Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) or possibly Aspberger's syndrome. Those are both the mildest forms of autism. My advice to you is that if you think there is something different about him, than never give up in getting a diagnosis. Parents are the ones who are fighting this fight, a lot of doctors have a history of either not believing the parents or blaming the mothers for the condition.

      Most of all, educate yourself! I highly recommend any and all books by Dr. Temple Grandin. (#1 on the list, there is a link to her site in the first paragraph but you can find her books cheaper on Amazon.com). They are written from her perspective and she will tell you exactly what to do to help your son.

      Another wonderful place that I highly recommend you look up on the internet is "The Son Rise Program." I'm planning on doing this program with my son soon. He's already responding to some things I've tried that these people have asked me to do with him.

      I hope this helps. Good luck in your journey for your son!

    • bangcool profile image

      bangcool 5 years ago

      It's a shame as normal people if we didn't do anything. an autism can do the great think. We must do better

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 5 years ago

      @bangcool: I think people with autism can do such great things because they have this ability I like to call "hyper focus." They can focus on a single thing that they are obsessed about for hours on end and never stop. It's a common trait with ADD too. "Regular" people are interested in social things more often than not and don't focus on a singular thing in that manner.

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      jebozid 5 years ago

      Also, Travis Meeks from the band Days of the New. Amazing singer.

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 5 years ago

      @jebozid: Hmm? I may check him out and add him to the list. Who knows?

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      Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

      All these people are pretty cool but I LOVE that you have so many women here. Most people (I think) know of Temple Grandin, but otherwise female autistics and aspies are so often overlooked. I had no idea that Daryl Hannah has Asperger's, for example. Fascinating, and great work!

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      sandi_x 5 years ago

      Wow really interesting

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      Dianna206 5 years ago

      @indigoj: Thank you. I've noticed that the media tends to focus on boys and men more because Autism is prevalent 4x more in males than in females. Also, I've noticed that when a female is autistic, she tends to be more severely autistic than her male counterparts. Strange isn't it?

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      Dianna206 5 years ago

      @trendydad: Yes they have. Temple Grandin says that without people who are like this, there wouldn't be any technically-minded people and we wouldn't have all the neat "toys" like iPhones and computers

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      Dianna206 5 years ago

      @sandi_x: Thank you for stopping by! :-)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Amazing! I never would have guessed that some of thes people were autistic.

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 5 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: I know. Autism is a "Spectrum Disorder" which means that they can have very severe symptoms or symptoms that are almost unnoticeable. If it's caught early enough, many people can deal with their symptoms and make it seem as though they don't have autism at all. That's what I'm working on with my son. He's nearly there.

    • R D Ramos profile image

      R D Ramos 5 years ago

      Thank you for this lens. My son is also autistic.

    • jmchaconne profile image

      jmchaconne 5 years ago

      My grandchild Korbin has Autism, Thank you for a very informative lens. I'm writing a lens about Korbin. I'm going to make this a related lens.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I never knew some of these people were autistic. It just goes to show they are wonderful, smart people, and talented people

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      ettorecolella 4 years ago

      Very interesting list; I never knew some of these incredibly famous people were autistic.

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 4 years ago

      @R D Ramos: My son and cousin are also autistic. They are amazing people aren't they. <3

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 4 years ago

      @jmchaconne: That is wonderful! Thank you for the recognition!

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      angelatvs 4 years ago

      Wow, thank you for pulling all of this information into one spot! It is wonderful to see the success of these people.

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      ima11 4 years ago

      I love Days of the New, and yes, Travis Meeks has Aspergers'. Finding other people with the same diagnosis as I have has been a very happy fad of mine. Some people say I am tooting my own horn by telling everyone time and time again of my Aspergers', but I say there's nothing wrong with that, and there are a lot of people who ageee with me.

      Two other people would be Ryan Cleary (LulzSec) and Adrian Lamo (black-hat hacker turned "gray-hat" hacker). They also say Nikola Tesla had had it. And what about the most important of us all: Hans Asperger, the man for whom Aspergers' is named?

      But very nice article. Always glad to see Aspergers' awareness.

    • DIYHairBows profile image

      DIYHairBows 4 years ago

      I'm surprised that Bill Gates isn't on your list

    • hazeltos profile image

      Susan Hazelton 4 years ago from Summerfield, Florida

      Fascinating list of people. I had no idea that there were so many famous high functioning people with autism.

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 4 years ago

      @DIYHairBows: I may do another lense on Asperger's Syndrom. However, I cannot seem to comfirm for a fact that he is indeed on the spectrum. Everything I've read so far us just speculation. He certainly has many characteristics though.

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      ChristyZ 3 years ago

      This is an amazing lens, very interesting. I'm surprised by some of the well-known actors on the list, but it certainly makes sense. Great job!

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 3 years ago

      @hazeltos: Isn't it cool? I didn't know either until I researched the subject. I am interested to learn of many more. I may create a lens on people with Asperger's Syndrome.

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 3 years ago

      @ChristyZ: Thank you! I started this lens because my oldest son has Autism and now I suspect that both my younger son and I have Asperger's Syndrome. I wanted them to know that they are not alone and are in the company of some very wonderful and intelligent people. :-)

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 3 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes! Many of them I didn't know about either! Awesome isn't it?

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 3 years ago

      @ettorecolella: There are probably more people than we can count. I've just compiled a list of 10 MORE Famous people with autism. These are even cooler than the batch of people in this lens!

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 3 years ago

      @angelatvs: You are welcome! I enjoy showing off how cool and smart these people are! Thanks for visiting!

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 3 years ago

      @ima11: I've recently began to suspect that I may be on the spectrum too. I guess that's where my son got it. LOL!

    • MoreThanAMama profile image

      MoreThanAMama 3 years ago

      I had no idea that Daryl Hanna had Asperger's. Thanks for sharing! Great lens! Keep spreading awareness!

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 3 years ago

      @MoreThanAMama: Thanks "MoreThanAMama!" I was shocked too, but when I watch her, I can definitely see the characteristics.

    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 3 years ago

      I never would have guessed that Daryl Hanna suffered with Asperger's Syndrome. It is horrible that she was "blacklisted" from Hollywood. I really enjoyed several of her movies. Great lens.

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 3 years ago

      @mel-kav: I wish she would do more movies. She's adorable!

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      RoSelou 3 years ago

      Oh my God! I really don't understand about autism. I am just shocked that autistic people can act like normal although they are having trouble inside like talking, terrible shyness, social interactions, and others. What made me more shocked is that I have some of these attitudes. I think I need to talk to our school psychologists. But I hope I'm not, Is a prematurely born child is more prone to this syndrome?

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      RoSelou 3 years ago

      I would like to add that I stutter a lot, but I can control it sometimes. However, I am afraid that others will know it so I avoid social interaction and I don't hold longer conversation.

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 3 years ago

      @RoSelou: I'm not sure if "Premies" are more prone to Asperger's Syndrome or autism or not. I know that they are neurological disorders though. You might talk to your general practitioner and get a referral to a psychologist for a diagnosis. Here is an article I found about why and how to pursue a diagnosis. Hope that helps. http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhoo...

      I suspect that I am on the spectrum myself. :-)

    • Dianna206 profile image
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      Dianna206 3 years ago

      @RoSelou: If it bothers you that much, you might want to talk to a professional about it. There may be ways to stop it or at least minimize the symptoms but you'll never know unless you ask. Good luck! I wish you the best!

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      RoSelou 3 years ago

      @Dianna206: Thanks for the info Dianna, this lens is very helpful.

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 2 years ago from USA

      I didnt realize that Daryl Hanna had Asperger's Syndrome, this is a really interesting article.

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      Dylan 2 years ago

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