- 27November 2018
Even though large-scale public conversations around autism awareness didn’t start till late in the 20th century, autism is not new. What has changed is the stigma that surrounds both the diagnosis and openness with which people talk about it.
In fact, a lot of the celebrities we see on TV were diagnosed as being somewhere on the spectrum! Here’s a list of celebrities who are autistic.
1. Dan Aykroyd
By the time the Ghostbusters and SNL star was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, he had been kicked out of two school for his weird and aberrant behavior. This is important to bring up because the lack of awareness around autism spectrum disorders has often led to kids who have it being unfairly targeted.
Aykroyd is pretty upfront about his condition today. And even mentions that his childhood obsession with the police and the supernatural were greatly helpful in conceptualizing his role as Dr. Raymond Stantz.
2. Andy Warhol
Many people in the autism awareness community have brought up how so much of Andy Warhol’s art—the stylistic repetition, the obsession with the motif of consumer goods—shows signs of autistic behavior. Coupled with that, he also displayed an averseness to crowds and very intense social anxiety.
A director of one of the UK’s largest autism centers, Dr. Judith Gould, corroborated this when she said that Warhol was very likely high-functioning autistic.
3. Daryl Hannah
Most of the Kill Bill, Splash, Wall Street, and Blade Runner star’s childhood was nothing like the explosive female characters she plays on screen. Daryl Hannah was so shy growing up that she rocked back and forth in her seat out of anxiety, even as she sat at the back of the class.
Eventually, a doctor diagnosed her with being on the autism spectrum. Hannah often talks about how hard it is being a autistic in Hollywood; she avoids talk shows, premieres, and most of the socializing that the Hollywood elite partake in.
As of now, she’s left Hollywood to focus on her passion for environmental activism.
4. Courtney Love
Courtney Love was a darling of the 90s. With hits like Doll Parts and Malibu and an aesthetic that made everyone fall in love with her, it’s no surprise she was so, well, Love-d.
What most people don’t know is that the actress and singer—who was also married to Kurt Cobain!—was diagnosed with a mild form of autism when she was just 9. She recalls how frustrated she used to be about her inadequate social skills, visiting raucous bars to try to make herself more comfortable with crowds.
5. Susan Boyle
When Susan Boyle first sang I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables, the world was arrested by her beautiful voice. It’s been a long time since then, but she’s now become one of the most vocal celebrity advocates of autism awareness. From talking about how autism should not ever define her in her totality to being very open about her struggles, Boyle refuses to be defined by anyone else’s perceptions of her.
At Orange County for Autism Awareness, we believe in the lasting change autism awareness and early interventions can have on the lives of people on the spectrum. Visit us today for tons of resources on the difference you can make.