Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) both form a set of complex disorders affecting brain development. The disorder may vary in degrees of difficulties. It affects the social interaction of the victim both nonverbal and verbal communication and recurring behaviors. People affected by autism have been famous and have earned both name and fame. Did you know there are many famous people with autism? Yes, there are famous autistic people. As you read on you will know about them. Autism has never come in their path to success.
What Is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disability that lasts lifelong affecting the communication and the way the victim relates to other people. Autism also affects the way how they make sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition, people suffering from the disorder share certain difficulties that affect them in multiple ways. By May 2013, the DSM-5 diagnostic manual all autism disorders were brought under common diagnosis system of ASD. Before doing that several subtypes of Autism are diagnosed. The subtypes include:
- Childhood disintegrative disorder
- Autistic disorder
- Asperger syndrome and
- Pervasive developmental disorder– not otherwise specified or PDD-NOS.
People suffering from ASD face difficulty in attention and motor coordination, intellectual disability coupled with physical health problems like gastrointestinal issues and sleep disturbances. Few people with autism stand out in math, art, music and visual skills. Autism has its origin in the very early stages of brain development. Most significant signs of Autism come into view between 2 years and 3 years of age. A lot of research have been undertaken for early diagnosis and effective intervention to overcome the disability. Behavioral therapy is one of the means to treat autism. Spreading autism awareness enables the family to take care effectively.
What Causes Autism?
Previously, causes for autism were not known. Now research is delivering the answers. We now know that there is no one cause of autism as there are different types of autism. In the last few years, scientists have recognized mutations and a number of gene changes associated with autism. These factors alone would suffice to cause autism. However, some cases may be the resultant of the combination of gene factors and environmental risk factors.
The risk of autism for a child increases by the environmental factors apart from genetic disposition. Autism risk factor involves events that took place before and during the time of birth. The nongenetic risk factors are maternal sickness during pregnancy, advanced parental age or late pregnancy; difficulties faced during birth especially periods involving oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain. Nongenetic factors alone do not cause autism. Genetic factors combined with external risk factors that affect the development of the brain of the baby increase the risk of autism.
The risk of the baby having autism may be reduced in the prenatal stages according to a body of research. By woman consuming prenatal vitamins having folic acid during the months before and after conception risk is reduced.
Symptoms Of Autism
The degree of severity of symptoms varies greatly. However, the core symptoms remain the same. The areas affected by the core symptoms are:
1. Relationship and Social Interactions
- Face difficulty in developing nonverbal communication such as body language, eye to eye contact, facial expressions and body pose.
- Failing to establish friendship with the peer group
- Not interested in sharing achievements, entertainment and other means of enjoyment with others
- People with autism do not care little for other person’s feelings. They fail to understand pain and sorrow of others or to put in one word they lack empathy.
2. Communication (Verbal and Non Verbal)
Delay in talking or lack the skill of talking. About 40% of the people affected with autism never speak.
- They face difficulty in starting the conversation. Going further, they also face difficulty in continuing the conversation.
- Autism affected people use repetitive and stereotyped language. They tend to repeat the phrase they have heard previously, this condition is termed as echolalia.
- These people cannot understand the context the speaker is using. Say for instance they cannot identify if the speaker is telling something humorously or on a serious note.
- Interpret your speech word to word and fail to understand the implied meaning.
3. Inadequate Interest In Play Or Activities
- Kids affected by autism are often attracted to the parts of the toys and not as a toy whole. Wheels of the toy car attract the kid and not the entire toy.
- Adults and older kids are preoccupied with certain topics. That may include license plates, video games, and trading cards.
- Autism children love to have the regular and same routine every day. It may be the food habits or the road taken to school, they prefer to have the same thing and taking the same path.
- Stereotyped behavior is associated with them. This may be flapping hands or body rocking.
Childhood Symptoms of Autism
Parents or caretakers notice the symptoms at early stages. Even though autism is present at the time of birth, it is not evident during infancy and first 3 years. As toddler autism affected baby will not be happy playing certain games does not like to be held and does not start speaking. There are chances kid suffering from autism may start speaking in the same age as other kids of the same age group and gradually lose their language skills. A Child affected with autism may not appear to hear sometimes, but may hear distant background noise at times.
Autism is not all, and there are great personalities with autism contributed profusely to the world with their outstanding skills. But there are some famous personalities suffering from autism contributed to the world a great deal and have carved their niche. Read on and find out what these wonderful people have done for us.
Famous People With Autism
1. Albert Einstein
This famous personality is autistic.You are not dreaming, but it is a fact that this brilliant physician was autistic. He has contributed profusely in the field of Physics, and he invented the formula “E=mc2” this form the base of many advanced researches and studies even to this day. He faced a lot of problems in communicating with people. He was the man with the highest IQ, but you will be shocked to know that he was finding hard to learn things during his school days that other kids found easy. Due to his poor social interactions, he found it hard to get a job soon after his studies. He always performed well regardless of poor academics. His inventions are creative, and he is a gifted personality. He inspires people suffering from Autism to lead a great life as it is a gifted one and cherished.
2. Courtney Love
She is well known as amazing actress, American musician, songwriter, and author. Courtney Love faced mild autism during her childhood days. She spent most of her childhood days at foster homes as her parents were divorced. Gradually, she began with writing and came up with new music ideas. In 1989, she came up with her band. She was part of number of terrible relationships. She got married to James Moreland in 1989 and then to Kurt Cobain in 1992. She died on her 40th birthday in 2004 by committing suicide.
3. David Byrne
He was a great musician and Oscar awardee. David Byrne had a great flair for music and was deeply interested in it. Apart from being autistic he achieved great things in the field of music. He was once rejected from the school consort although having exceptional music skills. His passion for music was an enduring one and learn playing guitar. Finally, he kick started his band “Talking Heads” in 1971.
4. Temple Grandin
Is it hard to believe she is autistic? But, she is. As we know she is a skilled animal science American doctor. Her parents Eustacia Cutler and Richard Grandin were aware that she was autistic at the age of 2 years. They took care to get her into well-organized nursery school. As the other autistic children, even she faced difficulty in speaking but by the time she completed 4 years she improved her communication skills. At this stage, she was admitted to Hampshire Country boarding school specially made for gifted children. In the year, 1966 she graduated and stepped into college. She completed her bachelors degree in Psychology from Franklin Pierce in 1970. She did her masters in animal science from the state University of Arizona in 1975. Further, she got her doctoral degree from Illinois University in 1989. To help children suffering from autism, she began creating awareness and guided children with autism. This was her great achievement. She was listed one among the top 100 influential people in 2010. She is a great personality motivating us to live with a goal.
5. Daryl Hannah
She is someone who cannot be missed out from this list. This well known pretty American actress has worked in more than 50 movies. Few of the movies being box office hits like Kill Bill & Splash. She began her career at the age of 17 years in the year 1978. In recent times, she was sighted in “Feel” the Robbie’s video. In one of the interviews, the actress revealed that she suffered from autism during her childhood and the disorder even affected her film career. However, autism could not prevent her from fulfilling her desires.
6. Bill Gates
Are you wonderstruck to know the CEO of a mammoth company Microsoft is autistic? This famous personality is a well known American programmer and a businessman was born and brought up in Seattle. He is rumored to have autism but not sure. He also makes a mark on the list of world’s richest people.
7. Tim Burton
Tim Burton is a great film producer, animator, and famous American poet. He has more than 30 films produced and directed by him. These movies include great hits like Batman Begins, Alice in Wonderland and Planet of Apes. Tim began his career at Disney after graduating from CalArts. He also has many low budget movies to his account and these movies got a great response. His first big budget movie was Batman. It was a huge hit and made $400 million globally.
He is yet another famous autistic personality. Michelangelo was a great artist and have contributed many great creative works to the world. Dr. Arshad and Professor Fitzgerald said, “Lifestyle of Michelangelo was unusual with stereotyped routine, poor social communication and relations.” Further, his tempered behavior and being obsessed proved him to be autistic. Apart from being autistic he was an excellent artist, painter, builder, and architect. This proves that autistic people can create wonders and have the capability to think out of the box.
9. Charles Darwin
Another famous personality suffered from autism was Charles Darwin –“Father of Evolution”. The study conducted by Professor Michael Fitzgerald on Charles Darwin brought out many facts supporting his autism. He remained isolated most of his life during childhood and adulthood. He kept off from the social interaction but had written many letters but kept away from direct interaction. He had a great fascination for gadgets and chemistry and had collected many things. Autistic people think spatially and visually and he was one among them. He made a lot of discovery as scientist and naturalist. Theory of Evolution that gives insight to the origin and existence of human was given by this great personality.
10. Isaac Newton
Next to this list is yet another famous personality Sir Isaac Newton. He was a quiet person and did not take part in the social interaction. The “Newton’s laws of motion” proves his extraordinary talent. This is one of the greatest discoveries. Apart from being autistic he had many friends he was good at maintaining relations even though he was not good at communicating with the people. He followed his routines strictly. Say, for instance if he had to present a lecture at a specified time he used to start the lecture at the specified time irrespective of audience presence.