The Potential Genius of Aspergers

A famous psychiatrist, Michael Fitzgerald (from Trinity College, Dublin) has claimed that many geniuses in the fields of science, politics and the arts have achieved success because they had Aspergers. He states that many geniuses showed Aspergers traits (e.g., Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, George Orwell, and H. G. Wells). Fitzgerald argues that the gene linked to Aspergers is the same as those associated with creativity and genius. He compared the characteristics of 1600 Aspergers individuals to some geniuses and found they have many traits in common. Thus, it can be said that some psychiatric disorders may have positive dimensions.

Aspergers individuals can be so successful mainly because they are more focused and persistent, they do not get distracted, and they are not interested in outside society as much as the “average” individual. Many grown-ups with Aspergers have the ability to function effectively in mainstream jobs and live independent lives. Additionally, people with Aspergers may make wonderful intellectual contributions to society in general. Studies suggest an association with achievements in art, music, engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, and many more.

The deficits related to Aspergers may be debilitating, however, many people experience positive accomplishments, particularly those who are able to succeed in areas less dependent on social interaction, such as mathematics, music and the sciences It is suggested that Aspergers may be an important factor in many valuable contributions to fields and areas that benefit most from the type of thinking and attention to detail that only people with Aspergers can provide.

Aspergers is oftentimes seen as a disorder with both positives and negatives, and several well known grown-ups with Aspergers have achieved success within their career fields. There are several extremely well-known, very successful people who either had, or are believed to have had, Aspergers.

Bill Gates, the Microsoft computer billionaire is supposed to have Aspergers. Some other notable Aspergers-diagnosed people include Nobel Prize-winning economist Vernon Smith, electro pop rocker Gary Numan, and Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of the Pokémon franchise. Colorado State University professor and author Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism at a young age, and has used her autism to her advantage in her profession as an animal behaviorist specializing in livestock handling.

Some Aspergers investigators hypothesize that well-known figures, such as Thomas Jefferson, Jeremy Bentham, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Glenn Gould and Ludwig Wittgenstein had Aspergers because they showed some Aspergers-related tendencies or behaviors, such as intense interest in one subject, and/or social problems. These unconfirmed diagnoses, especially posthumous ones, remain controversial, as they work only from biographical information and sometimes ignore documented evidence that would indicate against Aspergers syndrome. Nonetheless it may be argued that it would be a loss to society if Aspergers were cured, as many of these “special” people clearly make a significant contribution to society and their skills are highly prized in many specialist fields.

Lots of people with Aspergers genuinely possess a unique gift and a chance to apply their unique talents to make a genuine contribution to the future, with examples drawn from both the present and further back in time. Additionally, it provides an insight into the kinds of work and careers that may make the best use of their abilities and skills.

The majority of the well-known individuals in the list below are thought to have Aspergers, and several are confirmed cases of Aspergers:

• Abraham Lincoln,1809-1865, US Politician
• Adolf Hitler, 1889-1945 German politician, dictator
• Al Gore, 1948-, former US Vice President and presidential candidate
• Alan Turing, 1912-1954, English mathematician, computer scientist and cryptographer
• Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, German/American theoretical physicist who provided the theory of relativity and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the work he did with photoelectric effect
• Alexander Graham Bell, 1847-1922, Scottish/Canadian/American inventor of the telephone
• Alexander the Great
• Alfred Hitchcock, 1899-1980, English/American film director
• Andrew Jackson
• Andy Kaufman, 1949-1984, US comedian, subject of the film Man on the Moon
• Andy Warhol, 1928-1987, US artist
• Anton Bruckner , 1824-1896, Austrian composer
• Béla Bartók, 1881-1945, Hungarian composer
• Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790, US polictician/writer and was considered to be one of the most important of the founding fathers of our country
• Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970, British logician
• Bill Gates, 1955-, US global monopolist
• Bob Dylan, 1941-, US singer-songwriter
• Bobby Fischer, 1943-2008, World Chess Champion
• Carl Jung, 1875-1961, Swiss psychoanalyst
• Catherine the Great
• Charles Dickinson, 1951, US Writer
• Charles Rennie Mackintosh, 1868-1928, Scottish architect and designer
• Charles Schulz, 1922-2000, US cartoonist and creator of Peanuts and Charlie Brown
• Cleopatra
• Crispin Glover, 1964-, US actor
• David Helfgott, 1947-, Australian pianist, subject of the film Shine
• Elvis Presley, 1935-1977, US musician
• Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886, US poet
• Erik Satie, 1866-1925 - Composer
• Franz Kafka, 1883-1924, Czech writer
• Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher
• Garrison Keillor, 1942-, US writer, humorist and host of Prairie Home Companion
• Genie, 1957-?, US "wild child"
• George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish playwright, writer of Pygmalion, critic and Socialist
• George Washington, 1732-1799, US Politician, the first president of the United States of America
• Glenn Gould, 1932-1982, Canadian pianist
• Gustav Mahler, 1860-1911, Czech/Austrian composer
• H P Lovecraft, 1890-1937, US writer
• Hans Asperger, 1906-1980, Austrian paediatric doctor after whom Asperger's Syndrome is named
• Harry Truman
• Henry Cavendish, 1731-1810, English/French scientist, discovered the composition of air and water
• Henry Ford, 1863-1947, US industrialist
• Henry Thoreau, 1817-1862, US writer
• Howard Hughes, 1905-1976, US billionaire
• Isaac Asimov, 1920-1992, Russian/US writer on science and of science fiction, author of Bicentennial Man
• Isaac Newton, 1642-1727, English mathematician and physicist
• James Garfield
• James Taylor, 1948-, US singer/songwriter
• Jane Austen, 1775-1817, English novelist, author of Pride and Prejudice
• Jeff Greenfield, 1943-, US political analyst/speechwriter, a political wonk
• Jim Henson, 1936-1990, creator of the Muppets, US puppeteer, writer, producer, director, composer
• John Denver, 1943-1997, US musician
• John Motson, 1945-, English sports commentator
• John Nash, 1928-, US mathematician (portrayed by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind, USA 2001)
• John Quincy Adams, also a president of the country, owned and kept a pet alligator in the East Room of the White House
• Joseph Erber, 1985-, young English composer/musician who has Asperger's Syndrome, subject of a BBC TV documentary
• Kaspar Hauser, c1812-1833, German foundling, portrayed in a film by Werner Herzog
• Keanu Reeves, 1964-, Lebanese/Canadian/US actor
• Keith Olbermann, 1959-, US sportscaster
• Kevin Mitnick, 1963-, US "hacker"
• L S Lowry, 1887-1976, English painter of "matchstick men"
• Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519, Italian Painter,Scientist
• Louis IV
• Ludwig II, 1845-1886, King of Bavaria
• Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827, German/Viennese composer
• Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1889-1951, Viennese/English logician and philosopher
• Marilyn Monroe, 1926-1962, US actress
• Mark Twain, 1835-1910, US humorist
• Michael Jackson, 1958-2009, US singer
• Michael Palin, 1943-, English comedian and presenter
• Michelangelo, 1475 1564 - Italian Renissance artist
• Napoleon Bonaparte
• Nikola Tesla, 1856-1943, Serbian/American scientist, engineer, inventor of electric motors
• Oliver Heaviside, 1850-1925, English physicist
• Oliver Sacks, 1933-, UK/US neurologist, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings
• Paul Allen - Another Microsoft "geek", the owner of the Seattle Seahawks & Portland Trailblazers, and the second richest man in the world
• Paul Kostabi 1962-, writer, comedian, artist, producer, technician
• Peter the Great
• Pip Brown "Ladyhawke", 1979-, New Zealand Singer/Songwriter, Musician
• Richard Strauss, 1864-1949, German composer
• Robin Williams, 1951-, US Actor
• Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon
• Seth Engstrom, 1987-, Magician and World Champion in Sleight of Hand
• Shakespeare
• Socrates
• Steven Spielberg
• Teddy Roosevelt
• Temple Grandin - She is a designer of humane food animal handling systems, and has been one of the pioneers in Autism and Asperger Awareness
• Thomas Edison, 1847-1931, US inventor
• Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826, US politician
• Tom Hanks
• Tony Benn, 1925-, English Labour politician
• Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890, Dutch painter
• Virginia Woolf, 1882-1941, English Writer
• Wasily Kandinsky, 1866-1944, Russian/French painter
• Wilhem II
• William Taft
• Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791, Austrian composer
• Woody Allen, 1935-, US comedian, actor, writer, director, producer, jazz clarinetist

The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook

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