Neurodiversity refers to the diverse variations that exist within each person that affect social interactions, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions. Neurodivergent individuals are more than the labels society imposes on them. This article examines some famous neurodivergent individuals who demonstrate the importance of looking beyond stigmas to allow people to flourish.
Neurodiversity in Entrepreneurship
Ford was founded by Henry Ford on June 16, 1903, which as we today is known as Ford Motor Company, a multinational automaker known for its trucks and other cars. While he didn’t invent the automobile, he transformed it into what it is today. He was able to convince businessmen to back him, and after trial and error, he succeeded in creating a successful company. Does it surprise you to know that he was dyslexic? Dyslexia has been commonly associated with entrepreneurship and big-picture thinking. When we look beyond stigmas and labels that society imposes on people, we can gain a newfound understanding of the diverse talents and strengths within our population.
Neurodiversity in Art
Autism is characterized by communication, social, learning, and behavior differences that can have different impacts depending on the individual. Stephen Wiltshire is a famous artist who is most well known for his sketches of cities and landscapes after just seeing them once. He was born in London, England in 1974. According to Exceptional Individuals, he was diagnosed with autism at a young age and was mute. Wiltshire enjoyed drawing in his spare time which led him to become an artist, a very successful one at that. He had a hard time with autism when he was younger, but worked hard, followed his dream, and succeeded.
Stephen Wiltshire drawing an entire cityscape from memory.
Neurodiversity in Music
Another notable celebrity is American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish. Eilish has won 10 Grammy awards by 2021 and is commonly known for her song, “Bad Guy,” which hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 13, 2019. Eilish announced on November 27, 2018, that she has Tourette’s Syndrome. Tourette’s Syndrome is a form of neurodiversity that affects movement and sound. Tourette’s syndrome causes repetitive movements or sounds that can’t be easily controlled. Examples of this include shrugging your shoulders, making clicking sounds, and blinking your eyes many times. She has experienced these movements and sounds and it can affect her, but it hasn’t stopped her from being a singer.
It’s important to embrace our uniqueness and the diversity within our society. Neurodiversity is valuable — it is every bit as essential to our society as biodiversity is to live in general.