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Joined: 17 Aug 2007
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27 Oct 2011, 6:56 am

This is an oooold thread, but since I found it during a search I'm posting a reply anyway.

NanoTy wrote:
A number of biographies of Spielberg mention that he has AS, including Wikipedia and IMDB.

Quoting wiki is a dangerous thing, it's inaccurate as anyone (yup, anyone) is allowed to edit it. If you click to edit a section (which I did as I wanted to hightlight the the 10th word in the first sentence 'speculated') you will actually find a list of people that wiki says not to list, good 'ol Steven Spielberg is among them.. guess he received wind that he was 'speculated' to have had autism... probably by some 12-year-old self-proclaimed doctor. :roll: Quote of that Wiki note below.

wiki quote on who not to add:
<!-- NOTE TO EDITORS: Please do not add Vast Aire, John Denver, Bobby Fischer, Bill Gates, Glenn Gould, Andy Kaufman, John Madden, Steven Spielberg, or any other person unless there is a reference to a reliable and on-topic source saying that they were diagnosed. -->

It's one thing to notify people privately, but to do so in a public arena like Wiki would piss me off too.


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27 Oct 2011, 2:20 pm

Glenn wrote:
You can easily find (on the Internet and elsewhere) plenty of articles about AS that claim that many famous people, past and present, were Aspies.
Among the names suggested are : Isaac Newton, Mozart, Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla , Albert Einstein and Glenn Gould : and among celebrities who are still alive, Woody Allen, Bobby Fischer, Michael jackson, Bill Gates, and Michael Palin.
I guess many of you can suggest other names. But do you think that suggesting lists like this is actually helpful? Does the thought that people can experience all the problems that AS might cause. and yet still achieve wonderful success in their chosen fields, inspire and encourage other people diagnosed as having AS, whether they be youngsters or adult? Does it reassure their families and friends? Or does it instead suggest that even if some Aspies may be geniuses , they can also be eccentrics, loners, and emotionally suspect? It appears to me that these latter characteristics are often viewed with great suspicion by a NT culture. Some people seem amused or impressed by eccentrics, but don't really "want one next door" Loners are often suspect ... i have often read some newspaper account of a guy who is suspected or guilty of some appalling crime, and the ststement is made "Of course, he was always a loner" - as if this in itself guarantees criminality! This sort of thing might contribute to a negative view of what Asperger's really is.

My opinion tends towards thinking that the idea that there are high-achieving Aspies can be encouraging. However, such articles should always include a clear description of what Asperger's Syndrome actually is, to avoid stereotypes (Aspies are all different even if we share some similar traits) . It should also be pointed out that "diagnosing" historical celebrities(and modern ones!) is really only interesting speculation, and shouldnt be taken as absolute truth. This applies especially to men who lived long ago, such as Newton and Mozart. It is perhaps somewhat easier to judge people who lived closer to us in time; for example I am pretty sure that the pianist Glenn Gould (a particular icon/obsession/passion of mine !) had Aspergers. Despite this, and despite many writers commenting on his eccentricities and aloneness, he seems by accounts of people who knew him to have been a delightful, gentle, and extraordinary man. Unfortunately, some of the other 'modern' names mentioned abouve (to my mind at least) do not seem so delightful, even if they have achieved spectacular success in life.

An aside - where are the famous female Aspies? I havent found any mention of them!

So what do you think? Is discussion of celebrated Aspies pointless? (It's too late to help them, and we might be mistaken anyway) or is it encouraging and inspiring to others? Does it help us to understand these people? Or are such ideas merely intrusive and uninteresting?

Getting the diagnosis Aspergers is a long and complicated process that involves numerous tests, observations, detailed information about your childhood etcetera.

A lot of the people on your list are no longer among us which makes it impossible to diagnose them with Aspergers. They may seem to have some autistic trades on first sight but that's not nearly enough to label them. Besides, a lot of people have some autistic traides but that doesn't mean that they are on the spectrum, it takes a little more than that.

It's flattering to think that geniuses like Isaac Newton and Einstein had Aspergers but it's by no means certain.

Last edited by pokerface on 27 Oct 2011, 7:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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27 Oct 2011, 3:12 pm

mysticaria wrote:
The vines lead singer has been in the news recently, because he was charged with assaulting a photographer, only to have the charge dropped when it was revealed that he has Asperger's Syndrome.

In my opinion, that is NOT an excuse for assaulting someone.
He should have been charged.
People with AS may have difficulty with handling reactions, but there is always a choice whether to take that out on other people or not.

Seconded. Aspergers should not be used as a carte-blance against prosecution. And even if it had any merit - It is ALWAYS the individual that counts, not a label.

duncvis wrote:
Sorry but I have to disagree. I don't think hitting paparazzi should be an offence (an exception to the law, LOL).

The problem isn't about as*hole papparazi being punched in the face, the problem is using the diagnosis as some sort of "get out of jail free"-card. If this keeps up then people will start using it as an excuse for everything and people wanting to do bad stuff will get a diagnosis - and guess which ones will be the ones taking all the crap from it?

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring" (Carl Sagan)