Top Autism Success Stories

Santosh Gaikwad

Santosh Gaikwad

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Autism 

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.

Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life.These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress.The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent in early childhood, typically before age three. Autism is suspected to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Success stories

1. Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin is an American professor of animal science at Colorad State University, world-renowned autism spokesperson and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior.

Temple Grandin
The Autistic Brain

Grandin was not formally diagnosed with autism in childhood, but her mother hypothesised that Grandin’s symptoms were same as of Autistic child. There is a film on her life.

2. Satoshi Tajiri
Santoshi Tajiri is inventor of Pokemon game; he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in his childhood. Because of his fascination with video games, Tajiri frequently cut classes and nearly did not graduate high school. This confused and upset his parents, who felt that he was discarding his own future.

Santoshi Tajiri
Santoshi Tajiri

His father attempted to get him a job at The Tokyo Electric Power Company, but Tajiri declined to take the position.He took make-up classes and eventually earned his high school diploma.

Tajiri did not attend college but instead attended a two-year technical degree program at the Tokyo National College of Technology, where he majored in electronics and computer science. He made the pokemon Illistator card.

 

3. Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton
These scientist also may have suffered from a type of Autism, according to experts.  Researchers at Cambridge and Oxford universities believe both scientists displayed signs of Asperger’s Syndrome.

Albert Einstein

Many people with Asperger’s are often regarded as being eccentric. They sometimes lack social skills, are obsessed with complex topics and can have problems communicating.

This latest research suggests that Einstein, who is credited with developing the theory of relativity, and Newton, who discovered the laws of gravity, had these traits to varying degrees. According to the researchers, Einstein showed signs of Asperger’s from a young age.

 

4. Jason McElwain
Jason McElwain is an American high-functioning autistic amateur athlete, in both basketball and marathon, and public speaker. Jason McElwain was born on October 1, 1987, to David and Debbie McElwain, and was diagnosed with autism at the age of two years.Jason and his family lived in Greece, New York, a suburb of Rochester, New York.

 

He initially struggled when interacting with other children, but began to develop social skills as he grew older. Although he was placed in special education classes, McElwain enjoyed basketball, to which he was introduced by his older brother Josh, and was appointed manager of Greece Athena High School’s varsity basketball team.

Jason McElwain wrote a book titled The Game of My Life: A True story, which is a true story about his life.


5. Thomas A Mckean
Thomas is an American autistic author and lecturer. He is a  poet, a singer- songwriter, an international speaker and a writer.

McKean has claimed that he did not speak until he was 16, but was able to describe how autism was like to him. He constantly fights various symptoms such as making strange noises, and says that perception of the senses causes low-intensity pain.

McKean has been described as having the unusual ability to be in the world of autism, yet also possesses the communication skills to describe what that world is like.

6. Dawn Prince Hughes
Hughes is an anthropologist, primatologist, and ethologist who received her M.A. and PhD in interdisciplinary anthropology from the University Hernias in Switzerland.

Prince-Hughes is the author of Songs of the Gorilla Nation My Journey Through Autism.

7. Donna Leanne Williams
Donna also known by her married name Donna Leanne Samuel (born Donna Keene in October 1963), is an Australian writer, artist, singer-songwriter, screenwriter and sculptor. In 1965, aged two, Williams was assessed as “psychotic”. During the rest of her childhood, she was tested multiple times for deafness and labeled as “disturbed”.

In 1991, Williams was diagnosed with autism by Lawrence Bartak, a specialist at Monash Medical Centre and a senior lecturer in psychology at the associated Monash University.

Earlier autistic authors were characterized either as frauds or exceptions, but today Williams and Grandin’s credentials are rarely challenged. Rather than being doubted, they are more likely to be commended for offering us an inside-out view of autism.

She has penned down her Remarkable Autobiography of an Autistic girl named Nobody Nowhere

 

8. Matthew “Matt” Savage
Matt (born May 12, 1992) is an American autistic savant musician. He has released twelve albums as a solo performer, as leader of the Matt Savage Trio and as leader of various sized ensembles.

Matt Savage

Matt was a precocious infant who walked early and learned to read by age 18 months.He was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, a form of autism, at age three.

Matt did not like any noises or music during his early childhood. At age six, Matt taught himself to read piano music. He studied classical piano for less than a year before discovering jazz, which became his main focus. He began studying at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts in the fall of 1999. He continued his classical studies as well.

He and his younger sister, Rebecca, were both home schooled.

Among Matt’s talents are hyperlexia and perfect pitch. Coupled with his extremely high intelligence, these abilities have allowed him to achieve other distinctions as well, such as winning a statewide geography bee.

Despite his young age and his autism, and even without formal instruction in musical composition,Matt is an accomplished musician and composer. He has released twelve albums as a solo performer, as leader of the Matt Savage Trio and as leader of various sized ensembles.

9. Daniel Tammet
Daniel FRSA (born 31 January 1979) is an English writer, essayist, translator, and autistic savant (scientist).

A book Born on a Blue Day about his life with Asperger syndrome and savant syndrome, was named a “Best Book for Young Adults” in 2008.

He suffered epileptic seizures as a young child, which he subsequently outgrew following medical treatment. He participated twice in the World Memory Championships in London, placing 11th in 1999 and 4th in 2000.

At age twenty-five, he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen of the University of Cambridge Autism Research Center.

10. Alexis Wineman
Alexis is an autism advocate who was named Miss Montana 2012. She won the “America’s Choice” award at the Miss America 2013 pageant and is the first autistic contestant to compete in the Miss America pageant.

Alexis Wineman
Autism Does not Define Me

She has written about her life’s journey in a book. As a child, she always felt different and was bullied. She said that she began to understand why after she was diagnosed with “PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified), an autism spectrum disorder” at the age of 11.

11. Clay Marzo
Marzo is an autistic professional surfer. At age 11 he placed third at the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) Nationals competition.

Clay Marzo
Surfing with Asperger’s

Marzo was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism, in December 2007.Until then, his unconventional behavior at home was often misunderstood by those around him.

Marzo didn’t connect well at school or with fans or sponsors, he didn’t play by the expected rules at surf competitions, and he was known for being painfully honest.

Marzo is intensely focused on his sport and has been described as both intuitive and expressive in the water. He is constantly seen rubbing his hands together at a rapid pace.

Marzo volunteers with Surfers Healing, a non-profit organization from Malibu, California, which exposes children with autism to surfing at camps in the United States and Canada.

12. Susan Boyle
Boyle was raised in Blackburn, West Lothian,  she was born when her mother was 45 years old, she was the youngest of four brothers and five sisters.

She was raised thinking that she had been briefly deprived of oxygen during a difficult birth resulting in a learning disability.

She was told in 2012-13 that she had been misdiagnosed and has Asperger syndrome with an IQ “above average”.

Boyle says she was bullied as a child, and was nicknamed “Susie Simple” at school. After leaving school with few qualifications, Boyle was employed for the only time in her life as a trainee cook in the kitchen of West Lothian College for six months.

She released her debut album named I Dreamed A Dream


13. James Durbin
James is an American singer and guitarist, durbin never graduated from high school. he was born in 1989 to Judy Settle-Durbin, a dentist’s daughter, and Willy Durbin, a bass player, who died of a heroin overdose when James was nine.

He was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and Asperger syndrome shortly after his father died.

He attended a music school in Santa Cruz instead of a traditional school. Durbin never graduated from high school.

Durbin cites popular bands My Chemical Romance and Thirty Seconds to Mars as his inspirations for his music.

 

14. Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd is a Canadian actor, comedian, producer, screenwriter, and musician.

Aykroyd described in a 2004 interview with host Terry Gross as having been diagnosed in childhood with Tourette syndrome (TS) as well as Asperger syndrome (AS).

He had therapy which really worked and by age 14 his symptoms eased, he also has Asperger’s but he says he can manage it.

15. John Robinson
John is the author of book Look Me in the Eye, detailing his life with undiagnosed Asperger syndrome and savant abilities.

Look me in the eye
My Life with Asperger’s

John was born on August 13, 1957. In the 1970s he worked as an engineer in the music business where he is best known for creating the signature special effects guitars played by the band KISS.

Robison wrote his first book at age 49, he was self-diagnosed with Asperger’s at 40

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