Autism and Fame

Todays post comes from Alice of Living with a Jude. As well as being a mum to three Alice is a talented and inspiring writer. The main focus of her blog is life with her son Jude, she often discusses his disability and how it impacts him and the rest of the family.



Whilst Jude is still not diagnosed with autism (a year and two months and counting of being on the waiting list…) it is massively prevalent in the way he behaves and presents himself. For example, as I’ve mentioned before, he has an obsession with lining things up, having things in their place, obsessive repetitions, what appears to be strange behaviour and he pretty much living in his own little world.

It really bugs me when people assume that because he has autism he’ll have some sort of superhuman amazing talent. This is a massive stereotype brought about by the fact that many people with autism or who are on the autistic spectrum (ASD) become so embroiled in an interest that they master it to an exacting level not achievable by most others. Jude however, also has Microcephaly which basically means small brain (See my post from a few months ago on Microcephaly, and as such he has Global Development Delay so these tend to mask his autism in terms of his professional supporting needs.

BUT, what I have been reading about this week really interested me. Famous people on the Spectrum. Can you name any? I certainly couldn’t, other than Temple Grandin who I only know about because of the reading I have done on Jude’s conditions. And I doubt if I asked my family ANY of them would be able to tell me who she is.

Some of these others may surprise you:

Daryl Hannah – An American actress who was diagnosed with Aspergers as a child. As a consequence, she suffers from anxiety that can be so acute she avoids many public appearances and shies away from any limelight. In an interview with a Australian Women’s Weekly she was quoted as saying

“I’d come home from school and cry myself to sleep. Right from an early age, I’d rock myself back and forth because it helped calm me down.

“Kids bullied me and that just drove me further into myself. Children can be very cruel when they see someone who doesn’t fit in – and unfortunately, that was me. I didn’t fit in anywhere.”

(http://www.aww.com.au/latest-news/in-the-mag/daryl-hannah-my-battle-with-autism-20639)

Dan Ackroyd – He was diagnosed with Aspergers and Tourettes in the 1980s after his wife insisted he saw a doctor about his behaviours. Funnily enough, he was obsessed with ghosts and law enforcers so it was largely because of this that the film Ghost Busters came about! He feels able to control his Asperger’s and needs no support personally.


Temple Grandin – Probably the most famous autistic person on the planet, Grandin writes academic literature as well as manuscripts on life with autism. She is also a staunch advocate of the autism community and stands as Professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University. I read her book called Animals in Translation when it first came out in 2005 and it was amazing! She basically understands animal behaviour, their mannerisms and traits in a way not many people could profess to.


Susan Boyle –  Who could forget the awkwardly stanced, unfashionably dressed lady with the incredible voice who won the Britain’s Got Talent crown in 2009?! Do you remember people making fun of her; of her appearance and inability to converse like most people? Looking back I find the way she was treated pretty appalling but frankly seven years on, she is having the last laugh. Fourteen million records anyone?

So there we have it. Just a few to share with you from a long list that I accumulated.

If you enjoy reading about a slightly bucking the norm family like ours then please head over to my page www.livingwithajude.co.uk or find me on Facebook. I put tonnes of amusing pictures on there such as this one…yes, it’s our bed and yes, Jude decided to line up a load of toilet roll, with exacting precision on my side of the bed. Is this some sort of telepathic signal!? Spooky.

 

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1 Comment

  1. 6th January 2017 / 9:23 pm

    Oh wow, this was a really interesting read. I had no idea that any of those celebrities had autism and I loved hearing about Dan Ackroyd, Ghostbusters is one of my favourite ‘feel good’ films, if that makes sense? It’s just so fun. I’ve followed you on FB and Insta and I’m looking forward to keeping up with your updates.
    I have OCD so whilst not the same as Jude I can relate to obsessive repetitions and compulsions to some degree, I hope you get a diagnosis and some additional support soon.
    Lucy
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