One out of four American adults suffer from a mental disorder—and one out of 17 adults suffer from a serious mental illness. Asperger’s Syndrome is an autistic spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication. Some highly influential people thought to have been affected by Asperger’s include Jane Austen, Ludwig van Beethoven, Albert Einstein and Vincent van Gogh. One in 500 people are affected by Asperger’s Syndrome—and one in 88 American children are affected by some form of autism.
Having a mental disability doesn’t prevent someone from achieving greatness. Born in 1928, world renowned mathematician and Nobel Prize winner John Nash was affected by Schizophrenia. In fourth grade, John’s teacher told his mother that John didn’t understand math. In reality, he was solving math problems more efficiently than his teachers were. Nash is one of 10 winners of the national George Westinghouse Award, which provided him a full scholarship to Carnegie Institute of Technology. He was even the inspiration for the award-winning film “A Beautiful Mind” in 2001.
Those with disabilities such as autism usually excel in one or more areas. They are often better at analytical tasks than average adults, and they can be incredibly productive with proper accommodation. Fortunately, companies are beginning to recognize this.
To learn more about the exceptional abilities of people with disabilities, check out this infographic presented by masters-in-special-education.com.