Actors Reveal They Have Autism, Pave Approach For Others With ‘Later-In-Life’ Diagnoses
Prison Break and Legends of Tomorrow actor Wentworth Miller took to Instagram to share his unexpected diagnosis of autism.
“Let’s just say it was a shock. But no surprise, ”wrote the actor.
Wentworth states that while he doesn’t know enough about autism at the moment, he knows he has a lot more work to do, which includes “reviewing 5 decades of experience through a new lens.” While he still has a lot to learn, he made sure the autistic community knows he is there for them and will use his platform to help others and refer them to the right people who share thoughtful and inspirational content That Help “Unpack” Terminology “and” Fight The Stigma “.
Wentworth concludes his post by thanking those who have helped him over the years despite being unaware of his autism.
Photo: Flickr / Gage Skidmore
“I would also like to say to the many (many) people who, consciously or unconsciously, have given me that certain extra grace and space over the years and have made it possible for me to move through the world in a way that makes sense to me made sense to her, whether it made sense or not … thank you, “he wrote. “And those who made a different choice… well. The people will reveal themselves. “
For years, autism has been most commonly associated with young white boys based on current diagnostic methods, according to research. The criteria for diagnosing an autism spectrum disorder are based on data almost entirely from studies in boys. Because of this, girls with autism may be more difficult to diagnose and often overlooked and misdiagnosed, resulting in a lack of the support they need. Similar to girls, research also shows that people of color too are often overlooked and diagnosed at a much older age, leaving them less likely to find adequate resources and treatment.
Thanks to research, our understanding of autism is improving, and people like Miller are illustrating what autism can look like. Not only is Miller 49 years old, he comes from a multicultural background, which shows that the criteria for diagnosing autism shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all.
“It was a long, flawed process that needed updating,” Miller wrote. “I’m a middle-aged man. Not a 5 year old. “
Miller isn’t the only older public figure to be diagnosed with autism in recent years.
In 2017, actor Anthony Hopkins, now in his 80s, confirmed his own diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome and attributed his insecurities and isolation as a child to it. “I had nowhere to settle,” he said of his childhood. “I was concerned and caused trouble.” He also described himself as a loner and said he doesn’t have many friends.
Despite his difficulties and hard time in school, Hopkins says he made up for it with hard work and that his “obsession with detail” made him a hugely successful actor.
Another public figure who was diagnosed with autism later in life is New York MP Yuh-Line Niou, who is also the first known autistic woman to be elected to a state legislature. Niou spoke to Zack Budryk of the Washington Post and explained that her autistic traits were overlooked as a child because they were seen as positive factors, such as passing through school with flying colors. She realized the importance of being an adult woman of color in a world where autism is not associated with either.
Miller, Hopkins, and Niou all embody the gifts that autism brings while demonstrating the challenges that can come with the disorder. Nonetheless, through their contributions, people with the autism spectrum continue to prove that the world is a better place. These and many other public figures use their platforms to reduce stigma and pave the way for people who will learn from their diagnoses later in life.