Famous Autists

Famous Autists shows us the amazing historical people that likely were autistic, the amazing autistics that are doing great things for the world today and the future generation that will continue to help make this world a better place.

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Dr. Temple GrandinDr Temple Grandin is the most accomplished and well-known autist in the world. Dr.Grandin didn’t talk until she was 3 1/2 years old.

When she was diagnosed, her parents were told she should be institutionalized.

She tells her story in her book Emergence: Labeled Autistic, a book which stunned the world because, until its publication, most professionals and parents assumed that an autism diagnosis was virtually a death sentence to achievement or productivity in life.

Dr. Grandin presently works as a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She also has a successful career as one of the few livestock-handling equipment designers in the world. She has since designed the facilities in which half the cattle are handled in the USA, consulting for firms like Burger King, McDonald’s and Swift’s. She also speaks around the world on both autism and cattle handling.

Ido KedarIdo Kedar is a 16 year old nonverbal autist. At first glance, many thought his lack of speech and erratic behavior meant he was unable to understand the world around him. It was at age 7 that Ido’s mom, realized that though he was unable to hold a pencil, he could spell. With the help of a letter board, Ido began to share the words, thoughts and feelings he had been forced to keep inside for so long.

Writing became a chance to deal with his situation and the challenges he faced. He created a blog and wrote the book, Ido in Autismland, a collection of essays conveying his message by detailing his thoughts and experiences.

Currently, Ido is on the honor roll in a mainstreamed high school. He plans to go to college and continue educating the community about autism. His ultimate goal is to help unlock the thoughts and potential of the many other nonverbal autists desperately trying to communicate.

Jacob BarnettA boy labelled as severely autistic, and never to learn how to tie his own shoelaces, was placed into a special needs school after his diagnoses aged two. His mother, following her instinct, pulled her son out of the state-run special education facility to homeschool him, and by the age of 11, he entered college to study for his degree: condensed matter physics at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. This is the story of Jacob Barnett.

Now aged 17, his love for physics has him now researching Loop Quantum Gravity and Quantum Foundations at Perimeter Institute for Advanced Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada.

For a child, that was told he would never communicate or function in society, Jacob has become a boy that is now working on a theory that could see him in line for a Nobel Prize.

Derek ParaviciniDerek Paravicini is a blind autist and a musical prodigy. At the age of four, he taught himself to play a large number of pieces on the piano, of some melodic and harmonic complexity (such as 'Smoke Gets in your Eyes'). Almost inevitably, with no visual models to guide him, his technique was chaotic, and even his elbows would frequently be pressed into service, as he strove to reach intervals beyond the span of his tiny hands!

At this time, his enormous potential was recognised by Adam Ockelford, then music teacher at Linden Lodge School for the Blind in London. In due course, weekly and then daily lessons were arranged, in an extensive program of tuition that was to last for several years. Painstakingly (through physical demonstration and imitation) Derek acquired the foundations of technique that were necessary for him to move forward. His natural affinity for jazz, pop and light music soon became evident; together with his improvisatory talents, ability to play in any key, and flair for performing in public!

Tim SharpTim Sharp is an internationally acclaimed artist and autist.

He was diagnosed with Autism when he was 3 years old and his dr's advice was "that the best thing to do was put him away and forget about him." Rejecting the prognosis, intensive therapy began immediately and Tim overcome what a lot of his challenges.

Drawing was used as a way of helping Tim to communicate. At age 11 Tim invented Laser Beak Man who allowwed Tim to show the world his great sense of humor and intelligence as well as his original way of looking at life.

At age 16, he was the only Australian selected by a jury in the young adult drawing category for the VSA (Very Special Arts) Festival in Washington DC. VSA is the largest art festival in the world for people with disabilities.

Tim's art is very much in demand from art collectors and has allowed him to share his story of hope and inspiration.

Grant ManierGrant Manier is an author, artist and special needs advocate.

Because of his autism, Grant developed an obsessive repetitive behavior for tearing paper at a very young age and by his early teens, he began recycling and collecting paper.

Grant created his artwork as a form of therapy for his autism.

He creates works of art using magazines, calendars, wallpaper, posters, food wrappers, puzzles and more. Each work of art contains thousands of cut or torn pieces of recycled paper. Using cool colors, cool shapes, cool textures, Grant calls his masterpieces “COOLAGES”.

Grant is quickly emerging as one of the most intriguing and captivating young artists today. Grant is dedicated to raising awareness about autism and teaching people that autism is a gift. He really hopes fellow autists see him as an inspiration to believe in themselves and follow their dreams!

Carly FleischmannCarly Fleischmann is a nonverbal adult autist.

Therapists introduced picture symbols that would allow her to communicate her needs. For example, if Carly wanted chips, she would point to the picture of chips.

But then one day, when Carly was 11, she was working with two of her therapists when she started to feel sick. Unable to communicate what she needed, she ran to a computer and began to type for the first time.

First she typed the word “H-U-R-T” and then “H-E-L-P”. Her therapists were shocked: They had never specifically taught her those words, and they wondered where she had learned them.

Carly’s typing showed them that there was a lot more going on inside her head than they had thought. For the first time she was able to communicate independently.

Since this breakthrough, her story has been shown on multiple networks proving that everyone has a voice.