Hollyoaks actress Stephanie Davis recently took to social media to bravely share with her fans her diagnosis of high-functioning autism. The star confirmed that she had 'struggled' for her entire life, particularly with 'social exhaustion', and at times had 'felt like an alien' who didn't fit in anywhere.
Stephanie joins a long and ever-growing list of celebrities who have been diagnosed with autism. Being in the public eye allows celebrities with autism to raise awareness of the condition and inspire others, showing them by example that autism does not have to stand in the way of success. Other famous people with autism include:
- Daryl Hannah. A shy child, Daryl used to calm herself down when she became anxious by rocking; this is a common sign of autism. Even though she is a wold-famous actress today, she insists that she prefers not to be centre stage.
- Dan Akroyd. Akroyd was expelled from school twice due to unruly behaviour, which was later explained by a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. He later became so obsessed with ghosts and police officers (obsessive-complusive disorder is linked to autism) that he developed a screenplay about them: the famous Ghostbusters franchise was born.
- Susan Boyle. Until diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, Susan believed that she had 'acted differently for years' due to brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen at birth. Nobody can forget her 2009 appearance on Britain's Got Talent, when her amazing rendition of I Dreamed a Dream won her a record deal and global fame.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is believed that, like Stephanie Davis, Mozart had high-functioning autism. He was unable to cope with loud and/or sudden noises and had difficulty keeping his body still.
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