I know that a lot of parents want to hear stories of inspirational people with Aspergers. People who have gone out and carved a niche for themselves in the world, and used their Aspergers characteristics to their advantage. So I am going to name a few in the article below. But before that I am also keen to point out that “success” does not have to constitute celebrity status or untold riches. There are thousands of great and amazing people out there with Aspergers who are doing a variety of things with their lives. Whether they are working, studying at college, running their own blogs, writing books about their experiences, working as a volunteer or whatever. Just normal meaningful day-to-day stuff, that we all aspire to.
So my point is that yes there are some Aspergers so-called super stars out there and that’s great if it’s inspiring and motivational. But they are the exception to the rule. Most neurotypical kids don’t grow up to be David Beckham, Justin Bieber or Madonna – so don’t expect it of kids with Aspergers either. They are not all going to be the next Bill Gates, but if they can achieve their potential (whatever that is) in life, then everyone can be proud. With that small “celebrity disclaimer” here are a few famous people who have, or are rumoured to have Aspergers:
Bill Gates – This is the big obvious superstar who is thought to have Aspergers. He is a billionaire visionary businessman and huge philanthropist; but to my knowledge has never been formally assessed or diagnosed with Aspergers. You can read about some of his alleged AS traits at http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_Bill_Gates_have_Asperger’s_Syndrome
Gary Numan – Gary was a pop star in the 1980’s who had a Top Ten Hit on both sides of the Atlantic with “Cars” (you can hear a sample of it at http://www.smokecds.com/track/200103) He has been in the music business for 30 years and was diagnosed with Aspergers as an adult (although there is debate as to whether he was diagnosed by a clinician, or self-diagnosed).
Satoshi Tajiri – Satoshi is the Japanese creator of Pokemon. A hugely creative guy who has brought joy to literally millions of children around the world with his Pokemon characters (not to mention money in the pockets of the Nintendo company!) He is diagnosed with Aspergers. It was rumoured that he died in this year’s Japanese earthquake, but it appears that happily this is not true and just the result of untrue internet rumour via Twitter. You can read more about Satoshi at Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satoshi_Tajiri
Vernon Smith – Vernon was a professor and researcher in Economics in California . In 2002 he collected the Nobel Prize in in economics. He has written several books on economic theory. You can read more about this highly intelligent and influential man with Aspergers at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon_L._Smith That’s just a taste of a few Aspergers “high flyers” to hopefully provide you a little inspiration. Other historical figures rumoured to have Aspergers are including Thomas Jefferson, Jeremy Bentham, Albert Einstein Isaac Newton, Glenn Gould and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Thanks for reading,