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1. Susan Boyle
The Scottish singer became an international star after appearing on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ in 2009.
Boyle was diagnosed with a Asperger Syndrome – a form of autism – later in life.
She found the diagnosis to be a relief, telling the ‘Observer’, “People will have a greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do.”
2. Dan Aykroyd
The actor and comedian says his Asperger syndrome inspired his hit movie ‘Ghostbusters.’
“One of my symptoms included my obsession with ghosts and law enforcement,” Aykroyd told ‘The Daily Mail.’
“I became obsessed by Hans Holzer, the greatest ghost hunter ever. That’s when the idea of my film Ghostbusters was born.”
3. Dr. Temple Grandin
The professor of animal science is one of the first people to to publicly share insight about her experiences with autism.
She is also one of the best known experts on animal science and the livestock industry.
She invented the ‘hug box,’ a device to relax those on the autism spectrum.
Grandin has been on the ‘Time 100’ list of most influential people in the world and was the inspiration behind the award-winning HBO film based on her life.
4. Daryl Hannah
The film actress has recently opened up about Asperger syndrome and social anxiety.
“Going to the Academy Awards was so painful for me. I’d almost faint just walking down the red carpet,” Hannah said.
“I was so socially awkward and uncomfortable that I eventually got blacklisted.”
5. Tim Burton
The director’s former partner, actress Helena Bonham Carter, once said Burton shows many symptoms of Asperger’s.
“You can say something to Tim when he’s working and he doesn’t hear you,” Carter told the ‘Evening Standard.’
“But that quality also makes him a fantastic father, he has an amazing sense of humour and imagination.”
6. James Durbin
The singer is respected for opening up about having Tourettes and Asperger syndromes while competing on ‘American Idol’ in 2011.
He donates portions of his album sales to the benefit advocacy organization, Autism Speaks.
7. Marty Balin
The founding member of rock band Jefferson Airplane overcame partial autism as a young child.
He has also recorded a song and intro to a short film about children with autism.
8. Derek Paravicini
Paravicini is a blind autistic savant and a musical prodigy.
He has absolute pitch and can play a piece of music after hearing it once.
When he was just nine years old, Paravicini had his public concert with the Royal Philharmonic Pops Orchestra in London.
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