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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,943

19 Oct 2006, 9:45 pm

Thomas Edison May Have Had Some Form of an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

This online article ( implies that Thomas Edison may have had ADHD. The article mentions certain unique physical characteristics but does not take them into account in terms of the ADHD. If you take into account these physical characteristics along with the personality characteristics, and consider that these characteristics have been reported in people with Asperger's Syndrome, it may be possible that Thomas Edison had some form of an autism spectrum disorder.

From the article:

Tom's overworked and short tempered teacher finally lost his patience with the child's persistent questioning and seemingly self centered behavior.

Tom did not seek easy answers. He was persistent so he continued questioning. Persistence is a trait of Asperger's Syndrome, and so is the appearance of being self-centered.

Noting that Tom's forehead was unusually broad and his head was considerably larger than average, he made no secret of his belief that the hyperactive youngster's brains were "addled" or scrambled.

Aspies have larger heads. The article mentions that Edison had large, deep-set eyes, which many Aspies have. He had a different way of thinking, yet his way of thinking revolutionized Western society.

Instead, when his beloved mother - whom he recalled "was the making of me... [because] she was always so true and so sure of me... And always made me feel I had someone to live for and must not disappoint." - became aware of the situation, she promptly withdrew him from school and began to "home-teach" him. Not surprisingly, she was convinced her son's slightly unusual demeanor and physical appearance were merely outward signs of his remarkable intelligence.

He was home-schooled because regular school was not as suitable for him as it was for normal students. He also had a caring parent, which may have been a contributing factor in his success.

It would be impossible to know for sure if Thomas Edison had had some form of an autism spectrum disorder, such as Asperger's Syndrome, but at least some of the evidence surrounding his childhood does not contradict that possibility.


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Joined: 4 Mar 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,278
Location: Rochester Minnesota

19 Oct 2006, 10:03 pm

What is funny is that in today's society, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstien would be considered unemployable. First off, neither had a high school diploma which seems to be the lowest value of your worth in this society. In fact, I bet the president today would totally ignore Einstien's suggestion of something called an atom bomb.

Louis J Bouchard
Rochester Minnesota

"Only when all those who surround you are different, do you truly belong."
Fred Tate Little Man Tate