8 Famous People With Autism

Sia

Representation matters, and exploring the achievements of individuals who defy stereotypes and challenge misconceptions can be essential. In fact, for those navigating the intricate landscape of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), finding relatable role models and stories can be a transformative experience. 

From creators to innovators to other familiar faces, there are many celebrities and famous people with autism. Below, discover these famous people with autism and learn more about their accomplishments and achievements.

Key Takeaways

An estimated 1 in 36 children have some form of autism spectrum disorder.

There are many famous people with autism, including popular musicians and actors, who have achieved great success, ranging from awards to international recognition. 

Certain attributes associated with ASD can be helpful when working toward success, such as having a special interest. 

Many famous people with autism have gone on to use their platforms to spread information on being successful and navigating the world as someone with an autism spectrum disorder.

Famous People with Autism

Autism is a neurological condition that affects an individual’s social interaction, communication skills, and behavior. However, autism does not define a person or limit their potential. Many famous people have been diagnosed with autism and have achieved great success in their respective fields.

From musicians. to poets, there are many famous people with autism. In this post, we’ll share these inspiring individuals and their accomplishments.

Eminem

eminem
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

Marshall Bruce Mathers III, more commonly known by his professional name, Eminem, is an American rapper. He is among one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with additional, although smaller careers in acting and publishing. Many of Eminem’s most well-known works shine a spotlight on his ASD diagnosis.

Eminem has won 15 Grammy Awards, along with several other honors that include 17 Billboard Music Awards and 8 American Music Awards. He earned the title of  “Artist of the Decade (2000–2009)” from Billboard as well.

Throughout the entirety of his career, Eminem has maintained a strong focus on philanthropy. In fact, he has been a notable donor to many causes and has his own foundation dedicated to at-risk youth. His openness about his ASD has also helped inspire many fans around the world.

Sia

Sia
Photo Credit: Sia

Sia is a professional singer and songwriter from Australia. She began her music career in the mid-1990s, growing to become a more popular name in the late 2000s. Although her growing stardom often left her feeling uncomfortable, Sia did not back away from creating music in the 2010s, collaborating with many other popular artists as a songwriter and featured artist.

During the entirety of her career so far, Sia has received 254 different award nominations—74 of which she has won. Some of these awards include Songwriter of the Year, Best Female Artist, and Most Performed Songs.

As she rose to fame, one of Sia’s noticeable qualities, especially during performances, was to hide her face behind her hair. After her ASD diagnosis, Sia stated in one interview that she felt as if she had become fully herself.

Morgan Harper Nichols

morgan harper louis
Photo Credit Morgan Harper Nicols

Morgan Harper Nichols is an author and poet, artist, and creator of the app “Storyteller”. As an adult, Nichols received an ASD diagnosis alongside ADHD and sensory processing disorder (SPD). Much of her work, especially her books, focuses on combining visuals with words.

One of Nichols’ books, “All Along You Were Blooming”, is a WSJ Bestseller. At the time of writing, she is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at Lindenwood University.

Although Nichols received her diagnosis as an adult, much of her early work focused on adapting to her struggles and overcoming many of the challenges she faced to reach success. Her stories feature many common themes of reflection and growth.

Christine McGuinness

christine mcguiness
Photo Credit: BBC

Christine McGuinness is an English celebrity, known for her modeling and television career. She began her career in beauty pageants and has since moved on to have a greater career in television. 

McGuinness has been nominated for three awards, one of which she won. During her professional career as a television personality, she has appeared on nearly a dozen television shows, including several game shows as a contestant.

In 2021, Christine McGuinness worked alongside her husband in the documentary Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism. She has also helped raise money for charities benefiting children with ASD diagnoses. 

Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle cheering
Photo Credit: Britain’s Got Talent

Susan Boyle’s music career began in 1998. She skyrocketed in popularity in 2009, however, when she became the runner-up on Britain’s Got Talent after showcasing her singing ability.

During that same year, Susan Boyle released her first album. It later gained the title of the United Kingdom’s best-selling debut album of all time. In 2012, Boyle was able to perform for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant at Windsor Castle.

During an interview in 2013, Susan Boyle revealed that she had an ASD diagnosis. Upon receiving her ASD diagnosis after growing up with the misdiagnosis of a different condition, Boyle told interviewers that she felt relieved, with a clearer understanding of herself.

Tony DeBlois

Tony playing piano
Photo Credit: Greg Derr, The Patriot Ledger

Tony DeBlois is a musician from the United States. He first began playing piano at two years old. He studied at various schools for people with blindness in different states before receiving a summer scholarship for Berklee College of Music, where he later became a full student and graduated. 

DeBlois can play 20 different instruments and various different styles, although he specializes in jazz music. Although he excels in various instruments, many refer to him as one of the greatest pianists of the time period. 

Tony DeBlois’ life has become the focus of several different forms of media, including a book and a movie detailing his experiences. 

Stephen Wiltshire

Stephen Wiltshire
Photo Credit: Stephen Wiltshire

Stephen Wiltshire was born in London, growing up using alternative methods of communication. He received an ASD diagnosis when he was three years old. He developed a passion for drawing at an early age, finding his muse in city landscapes around the age of seven. At the mere age of eight years old, Stephen Wiltshire landed his first commission, which was for Edward Heath, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In this commission, Wiltshire drew a sketch of the Salisbury Cathedral.

Wiltshire became a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) due to his art in 2006. During that same year, he opened a permanent gallery in the city of London. Stephen Wiltshire excels in drawing both real scenes, such as notable buildings like the Flatiron Building in New York, as well as fictional scenes drawn to great detail. 

Many films and books have captured Stephen Wiltshire’s story. He has also appeared on the cover of You alongside the actor of one of his favorite movies, Rain Man

Daryl Hannah

dayl Hannah
Photo Credit: Deposit Photo

Daryl Hannah is an accomplished American actress, having starred in dozens of films and television shows. She starred in her debut role at 17 and has continued to maintain an active career in the industry since then. Hannah is also a notable environmental activist and directed a few films. 

Throughout her career, Daryl Hannah has earned a variety of awards. This includes several awards for her acting career and awards for her activism. She has also been nominated for a Grammy, specifically the Best Music Film award.

Hannah discusses her ASD diagnosis in interviews as early as 2013. However, she received the diagnosis as a child prior to the beginning of her professional career. Although shy growing up, she learned to adapt to the film industry and the demands that came with the career.

Author

  • Megan Martin

    Megan is a professional writer with over 5 years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University. In her free time, Megan is an avid birdwatcher who enjoys spending time with her cats and watching documentaries with her husband.

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