Autism awareness did not come into the full public forum until recently.
In the last twelve years, autism diagnosis has increased from 1 in 150 people to 1 in 88. That is a staggering increase when you think about it. This dramatic increase has led me to believe that many more people in the past some form of autism, but never knew it. Some of the most famous people in the world are thought to have had a form of autism. One of those people is Albert Einstein.
Researchers believe that Einstein may have had Asperger’s syndrome. (Before I go any further, I want to clarify that Asperger’s is a high-functioning form of autism and was recently given its own separate diagnosis.)
Einstein displayed many signs of the disorder. He had difficulty with social interactions, was very sensitive to touch and, obviously, was incredibly intelligent but had trouble in school. During his childhood, he spent much of his time alone. He would also repeat sentences, another tell tale sign of autism. He also seemed to not have a concept of time, a common symptom in the autism spectrum.
One piece of information that seems contradictory to the diagnosis is that Einstein did marry and father three children. Although researchers say he loved his children, he did not like them to touch him.
Despite his reclusive personality and heightened senses, Einstein had one of the most brilliant minds the world had ever seen. His work continues to astound modern-day scientists and mathematicians.
Einstein’s incredible computation skills gives us another symptom of autism. Those on the spectrum will sometimes take on very difficult and complex topics. They will obsess over them to the point where their lives were consumed by the subject.
Whether or not Einstein had Asperger’s is still a question up for debating. Maybe he was just a peculiar person who had his own methods and stuck to them. Some people are just naturally quiet and reserved. If, however, Einstein was autistic, then he set a huge precedent for what autistic people are capable of doing.