Autistic Austen?


According to Jane Austen was suspected of…well, one must read it for oneself.

While never officially diagnosed as having autism, a number of historical figures are highly suspected of having it. Newton, Nietzsche, Einstein, Turing and Wittgenstein are seminal thinkers who all exhibited autistic-like traits. In the arts, Jane Austen [emphasis added], Beethoven, Mozart and van Gogh also likely had autism. And today, prominent figures such as Bob Dylan, Woody Allen, Keanu Reeves, Al Gore and, of course, the poster-boy for high-functioning autistics, Bill Gates, are all suspected of having autism.

The source of this information (if one could call it that) might be the Autistic Society, which shares the opinion. Absolutely no evidence is given.

So Miss Austen, that keen observer of relational interactions between her fellow creatures, was afflicted with a syndrome that, among other things, renders simple facial expressions indecipherable?

Will this comfort parents of autistic children, or simply keep them in Happy Happy Denial Land whilst the early intervention window slips past them?