DID EINSTEIN & NEWTON
It has been speculated that Isaac Newton had
what is now considered Asperger syndrome.Albert Einstein and Isaac
Newton may have had Asperger syndrome, but a definitive diagnosis
is impossible as both scientists died before this condition came
to be known. Albert Einstein's brain has been preserved. As physical
features of the brain connected with autism become better known
it may become possible to tell whether Einstein has those features.
Case for autism
Ioan James, and Michael Fitzgerald
believe that Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton had personalities
consistent with Asperger syndrome; Tony Attwood has also named Einstein
as a likely case of mild autism. Asperger's involves difficulties
with social skills and preoccupation
with complex subjects like music, which Einstein had. Fitzgerald
says society should accept and tolerate eccentrics as they frequently
have positive contributions to make.
Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton both experienced
intense intellectual interests in specific limited areas. Both scientists
had trouble reacting appropriately in social situations and had
difficulty communicating. Both scientists sometimes became so involved
with their work that they did not eat. Newton spoke little and was
frequently lukewarm or bad-tempered with the few friends he had.
If no one attended his lecture he still lectured to an empty room.
When he was 50, Newton suffered a nervous breakdown involving depression
It has been speculated that Albert Einstein was
on what is now considered the autism spectrum.People claim that
Albert Einstein was a loner as a child, was a late speaker, starting
only at two to three years old, and repeated sentences obsessively
up to the age of seven. As an adult his lectures were confusing.
He needed his wives to act as parents when he was an adult—factors
people claim make him "obviously" (or at least stereotypically)
autistic. He was also the stereotypical "absent-minded professor";
he was often forgetful of everyday items, such as keys, and would
focus so intently on solving physics problems that he would often
become oblivious to his surroundings. In his later years, his appearance
inadvertently created (or reflected) another stereotype of scientists
in the process: the researcher with unruly white hair.
Finally, in the words of Albert Einstein
“ My passionate sense of social justice and social
responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack
of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities.
I am truly a lone traveler and have never belonged to my country,
my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole
heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense
of distance and a need for solitude... ” 
Case against autism
Oliver Sacks says that claims that Einstein had
autism "seem very thin at best". Glen Elliott, a psychiatrist
at the University of California at San Francisco, is unconvinced
that either scientist had Asperger syndrome. "One can imagine
geniuses who are socially inept and yet not remotely autistic. Impatience
with the intellectual slowness of others, narcissism and passion
for one's mission in life might combine to make such an individuals
isolative and difficult." Elliott added that Einstein had
a good sense of humor, a trait that is virtually unknown in people
with severe Asperger syndrome. Viktoria Lyons and Michael Fitzgerald
state that the prevailing "research has shown that individuals
with autism and Asperger Syndrome are impaired in humor appreciation,
although anecdotal and parental reports provide some evidence to
the contrary." They describe several individuals with Asperger
syndrome who display a sense of humor and further suggest that a
minority of such individuals, especially those that are mathematically
gifted, can possess a sense of humor that is superior than average
due to their unusual personalities, experience and intelligence.
1 Ashoori A, Jankovic J (2007). "Mozart's
movements and behaviour: a case of Tourette's syndrome?". J.
Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. 78 (11): 1171–5. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2007.114520.
2 James I (2003). "Singular scientists". J R Soc Med 96
(1): 36–9. PMID 12519805. Retrieved on 2007-11-26.
3 Goode, Erica. "CASES; A Disorder Far Beyond Eccentricity",
New York Times, October 9, 2001. Retrieved on 2007-11-26.
4 Fitzgerald, Michael (2005). The genesis of artistic creativity:
Asperger's syndrome and the arts. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
5 Walker, Antoinette; Michael Fitzgerald (2006). Unstoppable Brilliance:
Irish Geniuses and Asperger's Syndrome. Liberties Press. ISBN 1-905483-031.
6 Fitzgerald, Michael (2004). Autism and creativity: is there a
link between autism in men and exceptional ability?. East Sussex:
Brunner-Routledge. ISBN 1583912134.
7 James, Ioan (2006). Asperger's Syndrome and High Achievement:
Some Very Remarkable People. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
8 Sacks, Oliver. Henry Cavendish: An early case of Asperger's syndrome?
Neurological Foundation of New Zealand (Reprinted with permission
from the American Neurological Association). Retrieved on 2007-06-28.
9 Houston, Rab; Uta Frith (2000). Autism in history: the case of
Hugh Blair of Borgue. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0631220895.
10 Sacks O (2001). "Henry Cavendish: an early case of Asperger's
syndrome?". Neurology 57 (7): 1347. PMID 11591871.
11 Gillberg C (2002). "[Charles XII seems to have fulfilled
all the criteria of Asperger syndrome]" (in Swedish). Lakartidningen
99 (48): 4837–8. PMID 12523067.
12 Lagerkvist B (2002). "[Charles XII had all symptoms of Asperger
syndrome: stubbornness, a stereotyped existence and lack of compassion]"
(in Swedish). Lakartidningen 99 (48): 4874–8. PMID 12523074.
13 Brilliant minds linked to autism. BBC News (8 January 2004).
Retrieved on 2007-11-25.
14 Laurance, Jeremy. "Keith Joseph, the father of Thatcherism,
'was autistic'", The Independent (London), July 12, 2006. Retrieved
15 Abrahamson S (2007). "Did Janet Frame have high-functioning
autism?". N Z Med J 120 (1263): U2747. PMID 17972967.
16 Stace H (2007). "Janet Frame and autism". N Z Med J
120 (1264): U2791. PMID 17972997.
17 Attwood, Tony. Strategies for Improving the Social Integration
of Children with Asperger's Syndrome (PDF). Tony Attwood. Retrieved
18 The Variations of Glenn Gould; A Look at the Life and Career
of a Brilliant Pianist. National Public Radio (September 21, 2002).
Retrieved on 2007-09-09.
19 Ledgin, Norm (2000). Diagnosing Jefferson. Future Horizons. ISBN
20 Michelangelo 'linked' with autism. BBC News (June 1, 2004). Retrieved
21 Arshad M, Fitzgerald M (2004). "Did Michelangelo (1475-1564)
have high-functioning autism?". J Med Biogr 12 (2): 115–20.
22 Selcraig, Bruce (2004-09-28). Golf's purest striker rarely missed
a fairway. USA Today. Retrieved on 2007-09-09.
23 Fitzgerald M (2002). "Did Ramanujan have Asperger's disorder
or Asperger's syndrome?". J Med Biogr 10 (3): 167–9. PMID 12114951.
24 Marschall, Laurence A (February, 2007). Richter's Scale: Measure
of an Earthquake, Measure of a Man. Natural History. FindArticles.com.
Retrieved on 2007-11-26.
25 Baron-Cohen, Simon (c2003). The essential difference: the truth
about the male and female brain. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books. ISBN
26 Were Socrates, Darwin, Andy Warhol and Eisntein (sic) autistic?.
Medical News Today (11 January 2004). Retrieved on 2007-11-26.
27 Zick, William. Thomas "Blind Tom" Wiggins (1849-1908),
African American Pianist and Composer; A Blind And Autistic Slave
Was A Musical Genius. AfriClassical.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-09.
28 Fitzgerald M (2000). "Did Ludwig Wittgenstein have Asperger's
syndrome?". Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 9 (1): 61–5. PMID
29 Fitzgerald M (2000). "Ludwig Wittgenstein: autism and philosophy"
(PDF). J Autism Dev Disord 30 (6): 621–2. PMID 11261476.
30 Fitzgerald M (2000). "Einstein: brain and behavior"
(PDF). J Autism Dev Disord 30 (6): 620–1. PMID 11261475. Retrieved
31 Einstein and Newton 'had autism'. BBC (30 April 2003). Retrieved
32 Hazel Muir (April 30, 2003). Einstein and Newton showed signs
of autism. New Scientist. Retrieved on 2007-09-09.
33 Einstein, Albert. The world as I see it. The Center for History
of Physics. Retrieved on 2007-11-26. Originally published in "Forum
and Century," vol. 84, pp. 193–194, the thirteenth in the Forum
series, Living Philosophies.
34 Lyons V, Fitzgerald M (2004). "Humor in autism and Asperger
syndrome" (PDF). J Autism Dev Disord 34 (5): 521–31. PMID 15628606.
Retrieved on 2007-11-26.
Click here for the full
range of Autism and Asperger's fact sheets at www.autism-help.org
This autism fact sheet is licensed under the GNU
Free Documentation. It is derivative of autism and Aspergers--related articles at http://en.wikipedia.org