It is common knowledge that some of the greatest minds of our time had Autism, or were at least suspected to have had. The analytical mind of Albert Einstein has been singled out due to the vast intellect he had. Einstein obsessed over the nature of reality until he finally had this Theory of General Relativity, the connection between time and space.
Many people ask me why I became a social worker. It seems that many believe those with Autism are best suited to analytical careers in the Science and Technology fields. Stanley Kubrick, another hero of mine, was retrospectively diagnosed after his death. His obsessive interests, inflexibility and poor social skills gave enough evidence to give a diagnosis. Those who knew him personally have not disputed his diagnosis.
Mozart is another considered to have been Autistic. Mozart’s personal diaries and compositions evidenced a somewhat debilitating obsession with music. Mozart was famously reclusive in his lifetime but his music is revered and enduring almost 230 years after his death.
Michaelangelo is another. His lifelong work of painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is one of the most recognisable pieces in the history of art. His sculptures endure today and many artists are influenced by his technique and skill.
Given that Stanley Kubrick, Michaelangelo and Mozart lived prior to the Autistic Diagnostic Criteria, they changed the world forever. All of their works are timeless and enduring and often considered the height of human talent. As an Autistic person, I loved the work of all three as my analytical mind and attention to detail helped me to appreciate them. Their talent was nurtured and they bloomed into the most talented people mankind has known to date.
My point is, Autistic people can thrive in many careers. All of these careers had a social aspect that included speaking to hundreds of people at a time. We are not going to hide in a room or a laboratory because “Autistic people are loners”. Society is driven by what social groups believe other social groupings should be doing. This has to stop. Keep up with your interests and one day you may change the world too!