April is Autism Awareness Month. Millions of people worldwide are currently living with the illness, including several celebrities. In honour of Autism Awareness Month, we have put together a list of five celebrities who are living with autism.
James Durbin is a singer who came to public attention after auditioning for the tenth season of American Idol in 2011. He went on to finish the contest in fourth place and has since released three albums. In addition to this, he is currently the lead singer of the band Quiet Riot. James was diagnosed with Asperger’s and Tourettes when he was a child. He has stated that music helps him to focus and deal with both conditions. He uses his experiences as an opportunity to be a role model and to show others in similar situations that there is always hope.
Daryl Hannah is an American actress, famous for her roles in Blade Runner, Splash, Roxanne, and Wall Street among many others. As well as this, she is currently playing the main role of Angelica Turing in Netflix series Sense8. In addition to this, she is known for her environmental activism. She has been involved in several campaigns and protests over the years. In 2013, Daryl revealed she had been diagnosed with Autism in her childhood. She has also said that discovering acting was her ‘saving grace’ as it provided an outlet for her imagination and something for her to focus on.
Susan Boyle is a Scottish singer who rose to fame after auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. She finished second in the competition behind Diversity. Her debut album I Dreamed A Dream reached number one in the UK in 2009 and was certified seven times platinum. It also reached the top spot in the US. As well as this, her second album The Gift released in 2010 again reached the top spot in both countries. She has since released several albums and singles. As a child, Susan was told she had ‘brain damage’ after complications at birth. However, it turns out this diagnosis was wrong. Susan discovered she had Asperger’s in 2012 after seeing a specialist. She has said that she now feels relieved to know. She also hopes people will now understand her better.
Dan Harmon a writer, producer and voice actor from America. One of his best-known works is the NBC television series Community which he created and produced. He also co-created the television show Rick and Morty alongside Justin Roiland and has written and produced for the show. Aside from this, Dan also hosts a weekly podcast called Harmontown. He has also won an Emmy for ‘Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics’ for ‘Hugh Jackman’s opening number’. Dan discovered he had Autism after noticing similarities between himself and the character Abed in Community. He went on to research his symptoms and subsequently saw a doctor who confirmed his research.
Mary Temple Grandin is an American professor of animal science, and a consultant on animal behavior. She is also one of the first people to talk about their own experiences with Autism and invented the ‘hug box’ to help others. In 2010, she was included in the ‘Heroes’ category of the Times 100 ‘most influential people in the world’ list. Temple’s family discovered she had Autism when she was two years old. She has gone on to achieve many things in her life and now helps others who have the illness, or who have close family members living with the illness.
Above are just five celebrities who are living with Autism. However, we hope this shows anyone out there who may have Autism, or who knows someone with Autism, that you are not alone. Don’t forget to tweet us @CelebMix with your thoughts.