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World For people with Asperger's, a role model emerges in Greta Thunberg

04:40  25 september  2019
04:40  25 september  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

16-year-old Greta Thunberg met with Obama and chided senators, saying they're not trying hard enough to fight climate change

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Greta Thunberg , who has been open about her Asperger ’ s diagnosis, has emerged as a role model to those on the spectrum. Thunberg — who gave an impassioned plea at the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Monday that went viral — began her climate protest in August 2018 following

Greta Thunberg has spoken about her Asperger ’ s syndrome diagnosis after she was criticised over the condition, saying it makes her a “different” Tony Attwood, a world authority on Asperger ’ s , has said people diagnosed are “usually renowned for being direct, speaking their mind and being honest

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Alexander Burke was in high school when he received an explanation for his lifetime of difficulty making social connections. Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, Burke, now 34, felt he had a better understanding of the interpersonal struggles that he had had in his past — but it did nothing to alleviate his worries about his future.

Burke says he would have been "thrilled" to have someone else with Asperger's whom he could look up to. But there weren't many other people with Asperger's that he knew of, either personally or in the public sphere.

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Whether you agree or disagree with her message, Greta Thunberg has suffered from the typical stigmatizing comments from those who disagree with her because of her Asperger ’ s syndrome diagnosis. This is the kind of ignorance most people have left behind in the last century.

Teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg has Asperger ’ s , a diagnosis that an estimated 1 in 250 people will receive, according to the Asperger /Autism Network. The pride with which she embraces her diagnosis has not been lost on others with Asperger ’ s , who now view Thunberg as a role model .

That has since changed. In the past year, as teen environmental activist Greta Thunberg has launched an international movement to address climate change, the 16-year-old from Sweden has notched another accomplishment, say those on the autism spectrum. By being open about her own diagnosis of Asperger's — even calling it her "superpower" — Thunberg has emerged as a role model to those on the spectrum, and has educated others about what autism can look like.

"I think it is really inspirational," Burke, of Somerville, Massachusetts, said. "I would have been thrilled if I was in high school right now."

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Greta Thunberg is facing attacks over her Asperger ’ s , but companies are keen to hire people on the autism spectrum. Thunberg , 16, delivered a President Trump, for his part, tweeted sarcastic commentary alongside a video clip of Thunberg ’s dire warnings: “She seems like a very happy young

Greta Thunberg may be a leading voice when it comes to environmental issues, but she seems to be establishing herself as a budding disability advocate Thanks to films like “Rain Man” and TV shows like “The Good Doctor” people with autism are often linked to a common trope in which they’re all

Thunberg — who gave an impassioned plea at the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Monday that went viral — began her climate protest in August 2018 following Sweden's hottest summer on record by striking by herself outside Swedish Parliament instead of going to school.

Since then, her campaign has gone global, attracting throngs of supporters as well as critics, some of whom have seized upon her Asperger's as an "illness."

That has not stopped her. Last month, she tweeted: "When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning! I have Asperger's and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And — given the right circumstances — being different is a superpower. #aspiepower"

Pictures: Things to know about teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg

That message is meaningful for Collier Litel, 23, of Lake Charles, Louisiana, who found out in seventh grade that he had Asperger's.

"It means a lot that she's willingly embraced Asperger's syndrome and talks about it openly," said Litel, who graduated college in May and is now studying to take the LSATs. "It creates a lot of awareness and destroys some stigma."

"She's doing a lot to not only show people with Asperger's that they can be very powerful and effective in their own lives, but to show other people that the autism spectrum isn't something that's completely debilitating," he added.

Greta Thunberg mocks Vladimir Putin as she changes her Twitter bio to 'a kind but poorly informed teenager'

  Greta Thunberg mocks Vladimir Putin as she changes her Twitter bio to 'a kind but poorly informed teenager' Greta Thunberg, 16, changed her Twitter biography after Vladimir Putin called her 'a poorly informed teenager' who was being 'used by adults' at an energy forum in Moscow on Wednesday.The 16-year-old climate activist has taken the words out of Putin's mouth and made them her Twitter biography, calling herself, 'A kind but poorly informed teenager.

Like Burke, Litel said he wished he had someone like Thunberg as a role model when he was growing up.

"I think it would have had a tremendous impact on what I viewed as possible not only for myself, but for cultivating relationships around me."

Asperger's was once its own diagnosis but now falls under the broad category of autism spectrum disorders, which are characterized by differences in social skills and speech and may involve repetitive behaviors.

Thunberg has attributed her passion about climate change in part to her unique neurological makeup, while also acknowledging that Asperger's has posed social challenges to her in the past.

a man that is sitting in the snow: Climate activist Greta Thunberg on board the Malizia II in Plymouth, England, on Aug. 13, 2019. © Ben Stansall Climate activist Greta Thunberg on board the Malizia II in Plymouth, England, on Aug. 13, 2019. Her transparency is beneficial to those in and outside of the Asperger's community, said Erica Remi, director of development for the Asperger/Autism Network, which helps those who have been diagnosed live meaningful lives and promotes awareness.

"I think she's a role model to everyone. But I think for somebody who has Asperger's or is on the autism spectrum, her ability to be honest and disclose it in such an empowering way is what's inspirational," Remi said. "Greta is disclosing it in a way that she's proud of."

For Burke, who also works for the Asperger/Autism Network as a development assistant helping with fundraising, seeing Thunberg stand up for her beliefs before the United Nations "is really thrilling."

While Burke's own diagnosis did not feel like a superpower — "for me, it was more of a roadblock than a stepping stone" — he appreciates that Thunberg is challenging preconceived notions of what Asperger's looks like.

"I'm proud to count her in our ranks," he said.

Greta Thunberg mocks Vladimir Putin as she changes her Twitter bio to 'a kind but poorly informed teenager' .
Greta Thunberg, 16, changed her Twitter biography after Vladimir Putin called her 'a poorly informed teenager' who was being 'used by adults' at an energy forum in Moscow on Wednesday.The 16-year-old climate activist has taken the words out of Putin's mouth and made them her Twitter biography, calling herself, 'A kind but poorly informed teenager.

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