Autism Spectrum Australia

Famous faces from aspie cases Part 2

  • Posted: 24/04/2014
  • Author: Thomas Kuzma
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Happy Thursday folks! Thomas Kuzma here for your weekly Aspire dose. I hope you all had an eggcellent Easter. It's time to head into part 2 of ‘Famous Faces from Aspie Cases’. This week we have an advocate, a model, a scientist, a musician and an actor. You’ll see stars! Unlike the shooting stars I saw last night with my FAVOURITE cousins.

Now for those who don’t remember, I am not a doctor. So all I can do is give evidence that might indicate whether someone might or might not be on the spectrum. Let’s see who’s up first.

 

Stephen Shore

After having a thrilling conversation with Stephen on Facebook I had to make him the first on this week’s list.

Stephen Shore was diagnosed at an early age with “Atypical development and strong autistic tendencies”. Being nonverbal until the age of four he was considered “too sick” and was recommended for institutionalisation. Stephen’s parents decided to give him an intensive, home based, early intervention program emphasising on music, movement, sensory integration, narration and integration.

Through the help of his parents, wife and others, Stephen has come a long way. He is now a Professor at Adelphi University; he has written several books on Aspergers Syndrome and serves on several American autism committees and associations. Not only that, he can play a piano better than an artist can paint. You can see his pianistic stylings here

 

Ladyhawke (Phillipa Brown)

When I first listened to Ladyhawke’s hit songs, I thought she wanted me to stop time travelling, then I realised the lyrics weren’t “Hey you’re playing with my DeLorean”. Ladyhawke is a singer, a songwriter, a multi-instrumentalist and was diagnosed with Aspergers in the mid-naughties.

 In interview she mentions how being diagnosed explained a lot about her childhood. From working on puzzles for hours to saying completely inappropriate things, the other kids thought she was a weirdo. A large amount of her childhood was spent glued to the radio, listening to her mother’s collection of Beatles and Pretenders albums.

She is a big gamer, won’t wear women’s clothes, has released two albums and won ARIAs for Breakthrough Artist in the album and single categories. No way! I like wearing men’s clothes too.

Dan Aykroyd

Assuming you aren’t fraid’ a no ghost, then this man needs no introduction. However for those not on a mission from God, we have Dan Aykroyd. Dan is an actor, writer and currently owns Crystal Head Vodka. He was diagnosed as a preteen with Tourette’s and Aspergers Syndrome.

From Ontario Canada, he has come a long way, gaining fame from his nights on Saturday Night Live. Famous comedians like Eric Idle have said that he has written and performed several characters flawlessly. For those having trouble getting onto a freeway this weekend, don’t do this.

Alexis Wineman

Raising my heart rate we now have a Miss America contestant. Alexis was Miss Montana back in 2012. Alexis always knew she was different; she had a speech impediment and had a hard time communicating. She was diagnosed with autism at the age of 11. To help her speak more clearly, she joined the speech and drama teams. This greatly improved her speech.

Miss Wineman was chosen as “America’s Choice” for Miss America. Since then she has become an advocate for autism. Her goal is to educate as many people as she can about autism and what it’s like to live and cope with. Today she advocates autism, giving talks on television shows and at conferences.

Albert Einstein

Today’s final aspie is the world famous and epitome for good-conquering-evil Albert Einstein. Growing up Einstein had delayed language development and was educationally slow. These factors all lead to high functioning autism. It’s been stated he had an ‘addiction’ to physics, was a loner, solitary, suffered from major tantrums (I believe they were meltdowns), he had no friends and didn’t like being in crowds.

Albert Einstein has given us the theory of relativity, one of two major pillars in modern physics. He was given the Nobel Prize in Physics for his services to theoretical physics, especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect. This helped establish quantum theory.

Albert Einstein had a brilliant life, and his autistic traits were just as interesting. He had an occasional naivety, but had an absence of tact and social empathy. He processed information visually, rather than verbally, Einstein once stated “I rarely think in words at all”.

So that’s about it folks. Among the plenty of brilliantly minded people I have mentioned today, I know there are still many to go. So don’t worry – there will be plenty more to come in future lists.

So until next week don’t forget to shake your tail feather, down by the Old Landmark. If you don’t, you might have a Rawhide and people might think you’re Minnie the Moocher but unless She Caught the Katy I would say Everybody Needs Somebody to Love. Have a great weekend!

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Famous faces from aspie cases Part 2