Asperger syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. It is a mild form of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and although it is rare, it could last for years or even span a lifetime if proper medical attention is not given to the sufferer.
Persons with this condition may be referred to as socially awkward. Symptoms may range from aggressiveness, fidgeting, social isolation, poor coordination, anger, anxiety, apprehensiveness, depression, nightmares and so on. Proper medical diagnosis is required to properly ascertain the existence of the Asperger syndrome and it could include lab tests and sometimes imaging.
Several treatment methods are available for persons suffering from this syndrome and they include but not limited to therapies (Support groups, Anger management, applied behaviour analysis, Cognitive behavioural therapy etc.), self-care, and consultation of specialists.
Famous People With Asperger Syndrome
Asperger’s syndrome, also called Asperger disorder (AD) or autistic psychopathy, has an occurring frequency of about 37.2million people in the world following statistical numbers released in 2015. This number has gone on to include not just ordinary people but very famous people who have in tangible ways affected their societies. Below, we’ll take a look briefly at 10 famous people with Asperger syndrome.
Born on 12th February 1809 in Shropshire England, Charles Robert Darwin got married to Emma Wedgwood in 1839. He was an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist who was famously known for his landmark contributions in the science of evolution.
His grand idea of evolution considered a foundational and widely accepted concept in science, simply states that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors. He is regarded as one of the most influential men in human history.
Michael Fitzgerald, a leading psychiatrist, and professor of child and adolescent psychiatry researched and published a paper arriving at a conclusion that Charles Darwin had Asperger’s Syndrome. Records from Darwin’s childhood stated that he was a very quiet and isolated child. He avoided interactions with others as much as possible and sought alternative ways of communicating such as writing letters. He died on the 19th of April 1882 at his home in England.
Susan Magdalene Boyle was born on April 1st, 1961 and raised in Blackburn West Lothian. Her Father, Patrick Boyle, was a second world war veteran and miner while her mother, Bridget
Boyle was a shorthand typist.
A Scottish singer/actress, Susan came into the limelight on April 11, 2009, after appearing on the popular TV programme, Britain’s Got Talent singing Les Miserables’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’. Following the success recorded by her debut album, which was UK’s best-selling debut album of all time in 2009, her other albums have gone on to top both the U.S and U.K charts, as well as Billboard 200.
Boyle was diagnosed in 2012 with Asperger’s syndrome with an IQ above average but only made the diagnosis public in 2013. She admits that the disorder gives her a ‘sense of panic’ and causes her to go into depression but she is learning and has discovered ways to cope and adapt to it.
A famous movie director cited as one of the greatest and most influential directors in cinematic history, Kubrick was born on 26th July 1928, in Manhattan, New York. He was raised in The Bronx, New York City and was a very shy and obsessive person but that didn’t affect his love for making movies.
The movie director married at age 19 to his high-school sweetheart, Toba Metz in 1948. His most famous films were “A Clockwork Orange,” “Dr. Strangelove,” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
Stanley was diagnosed posthumously with Asperger’s syndrome which according to experts, was responsible for his insane attention to detail and constant demand for perfection which ultimately led to his fame as a film director. As is common with people suffering from Asperger syndrome, Kubrick had poor social skills and inflexibility.
He died on March 7, 1999, in his sleep after suffering a heart attack.
Aykroyd is an American-Canadian actor, comedian, musician, filmmaker and businessman. Born on ‘Dominion day’ in Ontario Canada in 1952, his father, Peter Hugh Aykroyd was a
civil engineer who served as a policy adviser to then Canadian Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau. His mother, Lorraine who was of French Canadian descent, was a secretary.
The 1977 Emmy award winner is married to Donna Dixon and they have 3 children. He is the co-founder of House of Blues chain of music venues and the Crystal Head Vodka brand.
Dan Aykroyd was diagnosed early enough as a child with mild Asperger’s Syndrome by a doctor although he claimed in 2015 that he was self-diagnosed. He has often said that Asperger’s syndrome makes him a perfect fit for Ghost busters films because he had an obsession for ghosts and law enforcement. This is in no way strange because Asperger’s can cause an individual to have an intense focus on a narrow range of interests.
Bobby Fischer, the American chess grandmaster and eleventh World Chess Champion, is considered by many as the greatest chess player of all time. He was born on March 9, 1943, in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
The 1958 chess grandmaster showed great skills in chess from an early age. At a teen age of 14, he was the U.S chess Champion and at 15, he became the youngest grandmaster and candidate for the World Championship. He is credited with achieving the only perfect score in the history of the U.S championships.
He also invented ‘Fischerandom’ known today around the world as ‘chess960’. Bobby Fischer, who was the first official FIDE number-one-rated player, is said to have had Asperger’s Syndrome in addition to paranoid schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Fischer was known to be extremely intense and had an extreme focus on chess. He was socially awkward as he didn’t have many friends because of his poor relationship with people.
He died in Reykjavik, Iceland on January 17, 2008, after suffering from degenerative renal failure. His contributions to the game of chess will forever be remembered.
Born on 3rd December 1960 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S, Daryl Christine Hannah, an American actress and environmental activist, is famously known for her roles as Pris Stratton in Ridley Scott’s science fiction thriller, Blade Runner, in 1982 and as Darien Taylor in Oliver Stone’s drama, Wall Street in 1987 amongst many others.
After her diagnosis of Asperger, doctors recommended that she should be institutionalized and medicated. The Saturn award recipient has publicly come out to say the honest truth about her challenges with Asperger’s Syndrome, admitting that she has learned to control and live with her diagnosis.
She got married to Neil Young in 2018 after having failed long term relationships with John F. Kennedy Jr. and musician Jackson Browne.
Sir Isaac Newton
He was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian and philosopher born in 1642 and died in early 1727 in England. Newton is regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key player in the revolution of science. He is popularly known for Newtonian mechanics, calculus, Newton’s laws of motion, and optics amongst many other mathematical concepts.
Researchers at Cambridge University have hypothesized that Isaac Newton had Asperger’s Syndrome based on evidence that he isolated himself as much as possible and was not very good at keeping friendships. There are also reports that Sir Isaac Newton could be so engrossed in his work that he would go on for days without eating or sleeping.
Satoshi Tajiri, born on August 28, 1965, in Tokyo Japan, is a Japanese video game designer and writer. His popularity is widely due to his creation of Nintendo’s Pokemon franchise. He is the founder/CEO of Game Freak which is a video game developing firm.
Tajiri has confirmed that he has Asperger’s Syndrome although he doesn’t talk about it in the public. He had various obsessions which included collecting bugs as a child and in later years it shifted to arcade games.
Charles Francis Richter
Charles Francis Richter, born April 26th, 1900, was an American physicist and professor of seismologist famous for creating the Richter magnitude scale used in the measurement of earthquakes. He developed it in collaboration with Beno Gutenberg. His magnitude scale brought the science of earthquake into the modern age. He is said to have German heritage due to the fact that his great-grandfather hailed from Baden-Baden in Germany.
Susan E. Hough, the then acting head of the Pasadena office of the U.S. Geological Survey, posted her findings on Charles which included the fact that he probably had Asperger’s syndrome, sometimes called the ‘genius gene’. Charles Ritcher was a very private man who lacked social skills and had an obsession for earthquakes.
He died in California at age 85 due to congestive heart failure.
Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor, singer and comedian, was born in Chicago Illinois on July 21, 1951. He ventured into stand-up comedy in the mid-1970s, plying his trade in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The emergence and rise of San Francisco’s comedy renaissance have been largely associated with him. Robin Williams is famous for being the funniest person of all age. He is a one-time academy award recipient.
Due to his social awkwardness, hyperactive nature, and the depression which he suffered, it has been hypothesized that Robin had Asperger’s syndrome. He committed suicide on August 11, 2014, in California, U.S.A, although investigations, as to the cause of death, didn’t link to Asperger’s syndrome.
He was married three times, divorcing the first two times and his last known wife before he died was Susan Schneider whom he married in 2011. He also has three surviving children.