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Was Eintein Autistic?

  1. Jun 5, 2004 #1
    I was just wondering, does anyone have any proof whether or not Eintein was autistic?
    Thanks, Wyman91
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2004 #2


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    No he wasn't autistic. He wasn't even as asocial as many scientists. In his youth he was rebellious but had many friends and girlfriends. Throughout his life he liked to mingle with friends and exchange ideas, jokes, and fellowship. Many of these friends have written fond reminiscences of him.
  4. Jun 6, 2004 #3
    what makes you think he was autsistic? Is it because its said he failed geometry?
  5. Jun 6, 2004 #4
    Here are some things that I have heard about Einstein:

    Albert Einstein didn't speak until he was four, and not fluently in his own language until he was eight or nine.

    He did poorly in school and was a day dreamer.

    He had tantrums as a child and couldn't express himself very well.

    When he was a child, he was considered retarded even by his own parents.

    Many people in the Einstein family are autistic.

    An autistic brain has a cerebrum larger than normal, and a cerebellum smaller than normal. An autopsy of Einstein's brain showed that Einstein's cerebrum was indeed larger than normal (like an autistic brain). Unfortunately howerver, they did not reveal the size of his cerebellum.

    Even as an adult, Albert Einstein couldn't take care of himself.

    He never learned how to drive a car.

    He was a visual thinker.

    These things are traits of being autistic(or being on the autisitic spectrum). So I was not sure, and I wanted to ask to see if he was.
  6. Jun 6, 2004 #5


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    It may help to take a closer look at the source where you read these things about Einstein. Several myths are on the list (example, Einstein did poorly in school) and using untrue "facts" is not a good way to answer the original question.
  7. Jun 6, 2004 #6


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    I agree with Eh. Many "facts" about Einstein are myths. But even the mythological Einstein could only have been at the mild end of the autism spectrum. Perhaps Asperger's syndrome, but not full-fledged autism.

  8. Jun 7, 2004 #7
    also considering much less then - ok i did a report on this its either 1% or 10% - have what many consider genious like qualities

    also a comment on some of your "facts"

    couldnt drive - well the man was a world reknowned scientist - im sure he was cheufured (sp?) everywhere

    also speak fluently in his language, not many learn FLUENTLY till around those ages and older
  9. Jun 11, 2004 #8
    Hey I wasn't saying I beleived all of those "facts" those are just some things I've heared...I have no idea which are true (If Any) but thats why I posted this forum, I never said I think he was I just wanted to see what people on the forum would say. And Eh I was not answering the origanal question because I posted it... Also, of course he did not have full-fledged autism I was not even asking that. I asked if anyone knew if he was on the autism spectrum (which is quite broad).
  10. Jun 11, 2004 #9
    I've read that he MAY have had the 'high functioning autism' called Asberger's Syndrome. Its kind of interesting learning about that since I have been diagnosed with the same thing and have almost all of the behavioral traits he had. (as was reported in what i read, and in this thread)
  11. Jun 12, 2004 #10
    personaly, whatever einstein was, im glad - cuz the man made a world of a differince in our lives
  12. Jun 12, 2004 #11
    In my mind, it is impossible to classify Einstein as Autisitic. I went to prep school where, for two years there was an autistic-savant also attending. This person pretty much matches all the descriptions of autistic-avants I have read since, and does not match anything I've read about Einstein.

    Asperger's doesn't fit Einstein, either, for two reasons: 1.) As SelfAdjoint pointed out, Einstein was too socially at ease, and: 2.) Asperger's people tend to be academically above average, not below, as children. They strike the people around them as brighter than average.

    Regarding the story about his brain, I specifically read that the people who examined it were baffled because they could find nothing whatever unusual about it. Their verdict was that it was the normal brain of a 75 year old man. They had been hoping to find something different to account for his intelligence, but couldn't.

    It is quite possible that Einstein started out with some neurologically based learning disabilities, based on the reports of his difficulties with learning in some areas as a child. Learning disabilities do not automatically, or even usually, mean a diagnosis of autism or Asperger's (especially not Asperger's).

    Each child with organic learning disabilities has his or her own particular set of problems. They are all different from each other, and all different from autistic kids.

    The suggestion that Einsten was autistic, which has been seriously bandied about, never holds up when you look at what he was like and how autism presents.
  13. Jun 12, 2004 #12


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    I believe Einstein's early school problems were due to social forces. He was determined to think for himself and he was a Jew. Both of these traits put him in bad with the German teachers, who despised Jews and insisted that students obey them. Einstein eventually, in effect, ran away from school to join his family in Italy.
  14. Jun 13, 2004 #13
    Sounds like an extremely emotionally stressfull environment.Factors like that can't be ignored.
  15. Jun 13, 2004 #14
    i just think einstien had the will to learn, after all dont they say the ave person only uses 2% of there brain space or sommit?
  16. Jun 14, 2004 #15


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    That's an urban legend. We use everything in our brain that is there for thinking. There is a lot of matter in our brain that is not neurons, but supportive tissue, holding the nerve tissue together. We don't use that for thinking any more than you can use your desk as a modem, but it serves its purpose by supporting the thinking stuff.
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