Historical People You Didn’t Know Showed Autistic Behaviors

Autism is a broad range of neurobehavioral condition that includes symptoms such as impairments in social interaction, speech development, communication skills as well as repetitive and obsessive behaviors.

By hepingting – CC BY-SA 2.0

About 1 out of 59 children worldwide suffer from autism. However, this doesn’t make them any less than other children. Here are some inspirational figures in history who can prove that being on the autism spectrum isn’t a barrier to success.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Musician

By Barbara Krafft – Deutsch, Otto Erich (1965) Mozart: A Documentary Biography. Stanford: Stanford University Press, Public Domain

Mozart is known for his erratic moods, unusual facial expressions, and obsessive behavior. Though autism wasn’t, diagnosed until two centuries later, experts believe that Mozart showed signs of high functioning autism.

The musician has ultrasensitive hearing that makes him sick when in loud surroundings. He also has the short attention span. Apparently, there was one time he got bored in public and started doing meowing sounds, doing cartwheels and doing flips over the tables. Still, Mozart can be considered one of the greatest musical genius composing over 600 pieces until his untimely death.

Albert Einstein, Physicist

Now, Einstein probably doesn’t need an introduction. Many people know him as the one who came up with ‘the world’s most famous equation,’ E = MC2.  Yet, not everyone knows that he exhibits many signs of autism.

He was slow to learn to speak. He didn’t speak until he was three years old and he was always found repeating sentences to himself. He also has obsessive behaviors. He follows certain routines and is obsessive towards his work to the point of forgetting everything else. However, this man who could not properly communicate with others became one of the most notable scientists who wrote more 300 scientific papers in his lifetime.

Andy Warhol, Artist

By Jack Mitchell, CC BY-SA 4.0

Like others on the list, Andy Warhol was never diagnosed with autism in his lifetime. However, the characteristics he displayed were enough for many experts to believe he is in the autistic spectrum.

The artist was known for being eccentric. He was not a social person and only conversed minimally. He was very obstinate about his routine and was highly focused on detail to the point of obsession. But maybe this obsession helped him to be a leading figure in visual arts.

Hans Christian Andersen, Writer

By Thora Hallager (1821-1884), Public Domain

Your childhood isn’t complete if you haven’t heard The Little Mermaid and The Ugly Duckling. But did you know that its author, Hans Christian Andersen, showed signs of autism?

The famous writer was said to be prone to strange tantrums when was a youth. And although some biographies describe him as whiter than white children’s stories’ writer, his diary entries revealed his inner perverse side. He has numerous crush which includes both men and women. He also wrote many dark and tragic stories. It’s not just Little Mermaid though, try reading The Red Shoes, Poultry Meg’s Family, Anne Lisbeth, and The Ice Maiden

Michelangelo, Artist

By Ottavio Leonimilano.it, Public Domain

Michelangelo is famous for his paintings and sculptures. A few of his notable works include the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Pieta and The Last Judgement.

The famous painter has a fiery temper and repetitive routines. If his creative routine were to be interrupted, he would be very agitated and frustrated, He also has few friends because of his ineffective communication or social skills. He was described as a solitary and melancholic person.