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Famous and Successful People with Autism

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Image source: Unknown

In life, we want to thrive for success in both professional and personal life. We may think that having a mental disorder would come in the way of that. But I am here, to prove that that isn’t true. Like a ray of hope, in this article we will discuss the famous personalities with the ASD and how they achieved greatness in life despite of it. We will focus on why autism deserves to be called ‘factory of geniuses’.

It is hoped, that this article will help us de-stigmatise the disorder and help us understand that mental illness should not be linked with dependency or failure in life. Here are a few inspiring stories of people who did just the opposite.


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Image source: The Independent

Yes, you read that right. The famous celebrity football player has autism. He was diagnosed with a mild form of autism at the age of 8 in Argentina. But it was never a demerit for him. His autistic mind of forming a pattern and following it thoroughly can be seen very clearly in his game strategies which he is able to remember due to his extraordinary memory. Even off the field, his autism is clearly visible in his awkwardness with interviews.  His autism has helped him focus on his game and not let the air of being a celebrity get to him.

Satoshi Tajiri

With Pokémon being a childhood favourite and Pokémon Go becoming a world phenomenon, fans would hardly realise that its creator, Satoshi Tajiri is a high functioning autistic. As a child, he loved bugs and arcade games and had a fixation because of his autism. As an adult, it helped him create a sensation that gave everyone the same joy that he derived from collecting bugs as a child. He is known to work 20 hours at a time and believes in abstaining from encouraging violence in his video games. The fact that Satoshi Tajiri, who was both socially and emotionally challenged by his disorder, could bring such creativity and world phenomenon to children is extremely inspiring.

Tim Burton

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Image source: List challenges

He is an American film director, producer, writer and animator. He has won several Emmy awards, Future Film Festival Digital Award and many other prestigious awards. As a child, he was a recluse, introspective and enjoyed painting, drawing and watching films. Though he hasn’t been diagnosed formally, he publically identifies with the condition. His partner, Helena Bonham Carter has informally diagnosed him with ASD. His autism can be seen in his introverted but optimistic main characters, and seemingly more in his living arrangements with his partner. They live in different houses joined by hallways even though they have two children together. He is highly intelligent but lacks social skills. He has the ability to hyper focus on his interests.

It must be noted that the ASD was written about in 1944 and did not become recognised until the early 90s. The following personalities lived before or around the time of this and hence they can be diagnosed retrospectively and be done on third hand information.

Alfred Hitchcock

He was an iconic and influential director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and thriller genres. He had directed more than fifty feature films from the silent film era to the colour era. However, conclusions can be drawn that he had difficulties in communication and had problems with expressing thoughts, feelings, and emotions.  He had a limited range of interest and focus and was very stringent with his on- set routines.

Albert Einstein

This genius was described as a lonely and dreamy child who had a tough time making friends. The eminent scientist and physicist, Einstein was prone to eccentricity, and social inabilities. He had an obsession with complex topics and was known to be extremely passionate.

Sir Isaac Newton

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Image source: National Geographic

Sir Isaac Newton also showed signs of autism. He barely spoke, was sensitive to criticism, did not have many friends and was extremely jealous. If he had lectures that no one turned up for, he gave them anyway to an empty classroom.


Wolfgang Mozart was a remarkable musician and the probably the greatest composer of his time. Anyone with even inkling towards music would have heard of him. As a child, he was a genius and hyper focused towards music and composing ever since he turned five. He was obsessed with his thoughts and inanimate objects. He had erratic mood swings, and was often seen repeating certain movements. He had extremely sensitive hearing and was prone to auditory and motor fits. These symptoms have him linked to ASD.


These are notable few of the many famous and successful people who had autism. It is important for us to consider that labelling the mentally ill as failures is our hypocrisy and narrow-mindedness and that people will push forth to become what they are meant to be regardless. People with autism are capable of great things in life as they have the talent, the brain and the will to achieve.

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About the School For Autism, Hyderabad

School For Autism is based in Hyderabad and provides therapy to people with autism, irrespective of age. To know more about the school, click here.



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