1. Michaelangelo - Dr. Muhammad Arshad, staff psychiatrist at Whiston Hospital in Prescot, Merseyside, and Professor Michael Fitzgerald, from Trinity College Dublin, have concluded that the Italian artist may have suffered from Asperger's syndrome.
2. Isaac Newton - Thanks to researchers at Cambridge University, we have a pretty good idea that Isaac Newton had Asperger’s Syndrome or something else on the spectrum. The researchers, who also argue that Albert Einstein was autistic, mention in their article evidence that Newton isolated himself as much as possible and was notoriously awkward when it came to typical daily conversation. He was not good at keeping friends, and relied strongly upon routines. Lastly, there are a number of reports that suggest that he was often so focused on his work, that he went for days at a time without eating or sleeping.
3. Henry Cavendish - Henry Cavendish is perhaps one of the most important scientists in history. A natural philosopher, chemist, and physicist, Cavendish is perhaps most famous as the discoverer of hydrogen. He is also thought to have been autistic. Besides his weekly meetings at the prestigious Royal Society Club, Cavendish did all he could to avoid company and social calls. Indeed, he was so reclusive, he communicated with his servants in writing, ordered his meals via a note left on the table, and even added a private staircase to the back of his house so as to avoid the housekeeper. He also avoided eye contact and was described by a contemporary as the “coldest and most indifferent of mortals.” But he was also brilliant, though it was only after his death that fellow scientists went through his many papers and realized all he had accomplished.
4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Most scholars agree that musical maestro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was somewhere on the spectrum. Mozart was allegedly extremely sensitive to loud noises, had a notoriously short attention span, and could fly through a cycle of facial expressions within seconds. In one well-documented incident, a bored Mozart began doing cartwheels and vaults over tables while meowing loudly like a cat.
5. Nikola Tesla - Thanks to his major rival, Thomas Edison, who reportedly stole many of his best ideas, Nikola Tesla died poor and alone. More recently, Tesla is finally getting the credit he deserves for many of his most genius ideas. It’s likely the inventor was also autistic. According to records of Tesla’s time, he suffered from a large number of phobias, was extremely sensitive to light and sound, isolated himself, and was obsessed with the number three.
6. James Joyce - Ask any autism expert about James Joyce, and you’ll likely hear them argue that his writing itself is extreme evidence of Joyce possibly being autistic. After all, his two most famous works, “Ulysses” and “Finnegan’s Wake”, are brilliant, yet intentionally difficult to read and understand. As Joyce told Harper’s Magazine, “The demand that I make of my reader is that he should devote his whole life to reading my work.” Some claim that this intentional approach to his work showed Joyce’s desire to distance himself from society, a very autistic thing to do. These same scholars also reference Joyce’s youth, during which he was extremely intelligent, but also suffered from a number of phobias and had trouble keeping friends.
7. Paul Dirac - Paul Dirac has repeatedly been referred to as one of the most significant and influential physicists of the 20th century. The Cambridge professor greatly contributed to early quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics, and even received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. That Nobel, however, was almost refused by Dirac, who was so reclusive that he didn’t want the publicity. Such shyness is one of many reasons why a large number of people think Dirac may have had some form of autism. Besides his shyness, they cite his intense focus, extreme literal mindedness, lack of empathy, and his rigid patterns, among other things.
8. Bill Gates - Could Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world be autistic? Quite a few autism experts seem to think so! While nothing has ever been confirmed regarding whether or not Gates falls on the autism spectrum, those who seem to think he is cite things like the distinct rocking motion Gates displays when he concentrates, his shortened and monotoned speech patterns, and his habits of avoiding eye contact on the rare occasion he speaks directly with someone else. These are all common characters of those on the spectrum, and the evidence that Bill Gates may be autistic is quite persuasive.
9. Barbara McClintock - Barbara McClintock was a famed scientist who made great breakthroughs in the study of chromosomes and how they change during the reproduction process. McClintock has long been thought of as autistic in some way. She had an extreme fixation on her work and was able to focus for long periods of time. She was also very particular about what she would and would not wear. Notably reclusive and one who went to great lengths to avoid any attention of limelight, McClintock nearly didn’t accept the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine that she was awarded for her excellent and groundbreaking work.
10. You - You are every bit as capable to accomplish the iconic status of the aforementioned names. Now prove it to the world.
Shop here: Accomplishments of Autism T-Shirt