Prominent Ceos With Disability
Among the most well-known CEOs with disability is Sir Richard Branson. The founder of Virgin Group has talks about living with dyslexia on various platforms and uses every opportunity to talk about the strengths and opportunities that come with including people with disability in business.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it hard for many individuals to read and interpret letters. Sir Bransons disability made it difficult for him to succeed at school, because teachers dismissed him as lazy or stupid. However as it turned out his disability made him a good business leader. Sir Branson said it made him a better business owner as he learned to delegate tasks that he wasnt so good at leaving him free to look at the bigger picture of growing the business. Virgin Group controls more than 400 companies globally and employs 69,000 people in 25 countries.
American fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger needs no introduction. He has changed the face of the fashion industry globally with his adaptive clothing line that has been designed keeping the needs of disabled people in mind. A global business leader in fashion, Hilfiger was diagnosed with dyslexia much later on in life but has talked about how he often felt embarrassed to reach out to people for help. Hilfiger recently partnered with the Child Mind Institute in a public service advertisement called What I Would Tell #MyYounger Self. In the campaign video, he said,
The Mighty Takeaway: How Autistic People Feel About Elon Musks Snl Appearance
Last Saturday, NBC invited Elon Musk to be host for Saturday Night Live.
A controversial figure, there were mixed reactions when Elon Musk announced hed be the Emmy award winning shows host for the night. Even with those mixed reactions, no one expected the billionaire CEO would open up about his autism diagnosis.
Im actually making history tonight as the first person with Aspergers to host SNL, he said.
His diagnosis reveal left many people in the autistic community with varied feelings, ranging from anger at his use of the outdated term Aspergers, to those who pointed out he is not actually the first person with autism to host the show. The Mighty decided to reach out to some of our autistic Super Contributors to see what their takeaways were from Elons time hosting SNL.
Today, were hearing Mighty Takeaways from Amelia Blackwater, Leslie Zukor and Robert Schmus. Let us know your take in the comments below, and join The Neurodivergent Crowd to give and get support.
1. How did you feel when Elon Musk made his diagnosis public?
Leslie: I was glad that Elon Musk made his autism public. The worst part of the discourse around being on the spectrum is that so few allistic people know of autistic influencers, other than Greta Thunberg. The more representation we receive means that people will realize there is no one correct way to be autistic. Breaking down stereotypes is crucial to accepting neurodiversity.
4. Any other takeaways youd like to mention?
Snickers And Bts Just Released A Collaboration
Asperger Syndrome is a form of autism without intellectual disability or language delay. Those who have it usually have difficulty in relationships and interactions with others, according to scientists. They have trouble recognizing and understanding other people’s emotions, whether through their facial expressions, tone of voice, jokes, irony, certain gestures. Unlike a majority of people who understand this naturally, Aspergers have to learn it. It is thus difficult for them to create friendly or romantic ties.
Failing to understand the outside world, he turned to the inner world. He found this world, especially in computing.
“I found it rewarding to spend all night programming computers, just by myself. I think most people don’t enjoy typing strange symbols into a computer by themselves all night,” the tech tycoon recalled. “They think that’s not fun, but I thought it was. I really liked it. I would just program all night by myself and I found that be quite enjoyable. But I think that is not normal.”
Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa, to a South African father and a Canadian mother. He showed early on a talent for IT and entrepreneurship. At 12, he created a video game and sold it to a computer magazine. In 1988, after obtaining a Canadian passport, he left South Africa to avoid supporting apartheid through compulsory military service and also to try to seize economic opportunities in the United States.
Read Also: Why Is Autism Growing So Fast
Tesla Ceo Goes Live On Tv Regarding Disability
Look, I know I say or post strange things but thats just how my brain works. To anyone Ive offended I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars and Im sending people to Mars in a rocket ship . Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?
The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, went on to mock himself further, joking about his tweets, even his sons unusual name X Æ A-12, describing it as Its pronounced cat running across the keyboard.
In several segments of the show, Elon Musk played off his socially awkward side, in keeping with his statement that he has Aspergers.
Aspergers is a form of autism that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to others. Aspergers syndrome is a lifelong disability which affects people in many different ways. Those with the syndrome may have difficulties interpreting verbal and non-verbal language, and may need more time to process information. They may also have trouble expressing their feelings in a conventional way. But they can be more empathetic or emotionally aware than non-autistic people. Many people with Aspergers syndrome have intense and highly focused interests some channelling them towards a successful career.
In opening up about his disability, Musk follows a line of prominent CEOs who have opened up about their disability and emerged as advocates for the disabled community.
Twitter Willing To Start Trial Oct 17 But Wants Elon Musk Commitment
A senior Twitter executive was secretly recorded mocking would-be owner Elon Musk for having Aspergers syndrome prompting the billionaire to call him out on the platform.
He has Aspergers, so hes special youre special needs. Youre literally special needs, the honcho, identified by Project Veritas as lead client partner Alex Martinez, says in a video that the outlet released Tuesday.
So I cant even take what youre saying seriously, Martinez added as he moaned about the Tesla CEOs mission to restore free speech to the social media giant.
Musk later ripped Martinezs disparaging remarks on the platform, which he offered to buy in a $44 billion deal in April.
Twitter exec trashing free speech & mocking people with Aspergers ,the billionaire tweeted.
His response came in reply to a tweet by conservative columnist Benny Johnson, who railed on social media: Twitter executive calling Elon Musk mentally handicapped, special and saying he has aspergers.
In his exchange with an undercover Project Veritas journalist, Martinez also said the social media giant isnt here to give people free speech.
The rest of us who have been here believe in something thats good for the planet and not just to give people free speech, he said.
Video of his comments was posted a day after Project Veritas shared a series of hidden-camera clips of another Twitter employee admitting that the platform is censoring the right and that he and his co-workers are Commie as fk.
Read Also: When Does Autism Start To Show
Autism And The Limits Of Representation
Autistic people of color and people who are assigned female at birth are routinely overlooked or only diagnosed later in life because of the dominant cultural stereotype of autistic people as white boys. Non-diagnosis or late diagnosis prevents people from receiving support that could meaningfully improve their lives.
Representation is valuable in many contexts, but white men who are successful in tech fields are some of the most-represented of all autistic people think Sheldon Cooper and The Big Bang Theory. Musks relationship with this stereotype is also the source of one of the main criticisms of his SNL monologue.
You might be interested in: Autism and Anticapitalism
And indeed, Musk has previously said he hopes to use brain implants from his neural technology company to cure autism. But according to some surveys, nearly three quarters of all autistic people do not want a cure and would not take it if one existed. Autism affects perception and information processing, which means its intimately related with peoples personalities and ways of experiencing the world. In an essay for The Guardian, Anya Ustaszewski writes, If I were to be cured of my autism, the person that I am would cease to exist. Instead, autistic activists say the focus should be on making sure people have access to whatever support they individually need to live happy lives.
Neuralink Is More Likely To Create A Bionic Person Than Solve Any Memory Issues
Neuroscientists expect that instead of making us all faster computers, Neuralink might be a way to give paralyzed patients more mobility.
The man whos lost his arm, can we now give him an arm back that he can control in great detail? Bruno said.
A Neuralink implant could also help blind patients see.
Even though their eye doesnt work right, they have in their mind the image of something that Im trying to send to them, Bruno said.
Neurobiologist Andrew Hires and bionics bioengineer Rylie Green both previously told Business Insider giving disabled patients more refined controls over robotic limbs or bionic parts could be a benefit of the Neuralink system.
Giving somebody back full motor control after theyve had a spinal cord injury, is how Musk described this idea on the podcast.
By stimulating electrodes, Neuralink might enable better grasping, walking, or breathing.
The first application you can imagine is better mental control for a robotic arm for someone whos paralyzed, Hires said.
Musk mentioned earlier this year that Neuralink had already succeeded in getting a monkey to control a computer with its brain, which is not an entirely new feat, but speaks to how Neuralink might work.
Its bi-directional, Bruno said. There is a hope here of being able to send information out to machines, but also to take information in.
Dont Miss: Aspergers And Stuttering
You May Like: Can High Functioning Autism Live Normal Life
Elon Musk And Autism Trending
Social media lit up with comments about Musks two errors:
No matter how you feel about his words, a quick Google search shows that Musk did shine a bright light on his condition, perhaps bringing awareness and acceptance of autism to a broadly neurotypical world. The Asperger/Autism Network reported that traffic to its website more than doubled after Musks announcement.
In one segment, he talked about some common symptoms of his autism. Its an honor to be hosting Saturday Night Live. I mean that, he began. Sometimes when I say something, I have to say I mean that so that people really know that I mean it. Thats because I dont always have a lot of intonational variation in how I speak which Im told makes for great comedy. I wont make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight. But dont worry, Im pretty good at running human in emulation mode.
Elon Musk Explained How His Brain Works In A Viral Ted Talk
The 50-year-old Tesla and SpaceX CEO shared more about his experience with autism.
Elon Musk is one of the world’s most polarizing figures. But whether you envy his mind or moderately fear it, there’s undeniable curiosity behind how the billionaire’s brain works. And the world’s richest man recently gave some much-desired insight into the inner workings of his mind.
On April 14, Musk sat down for an hour-long TED Talk interview, which was facilitated by the head of TED Chris Anderson. During the talk, Musk discussed everything from bidding on Twitter to Tesla technology to the meaning of life to, yes, his brain.
The 50-year-old Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who first publicly disclosed that he has Asperger’s syndrome in his Saturday Night Live opening monologue in May 2021, further discussed his experience with autism during the TED Talk. Musk shared his personal experience growing up with Asperberg’s syndrome, describing how he learned to work with his brain instead of against it.
“Social cues were not intuitive, so I was just very bookish,” Musk told Anderson. “Others could intuitively understand what was meant by something. I would take something very literally as if the words that were spoken were exactly what they meant. But that turned out to be wrong. not simply saying exactly what they mean. There are all sorts of other things that are meant. It took me a while to figure that out. “
Recommended Reading: Is Autism Spectrum Disorder The Same As Autism
What Is Asperger’s Syndrome Elon Musk Reveals He Has Form Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
“I don’t always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak, which I’m told makes for great comedy,” Musk joked during the opening monologue of the episode that he guest-hosted.
“I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL. Or at least the first person to admit it,” he said.
But what is Asperger’s syndrome?
Asperger’s syndromealso known simply as Asperger’sis a lifelong neurodevelopment condition that affects people in many different ways but is often associated with difficulties in interacting socially and having very obsessive interests, among other traits. It is estimated that nearly 40 million people around the world are affected by it.
“People with Asperger syndrome see, hear and feel the world differently to other people,” according to the British National Autistic Society. “If you have Asperger syndrome, you have it for lifeit is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured.’ Often people feel that Asperger syndrome is a fundamental aspect of their identity.”
“With the right sort of support, all autistic people can be helped to live a more fulfilling life of their own choosing.”
Autism Is Not An Excuse For Exploitation
Despite the other issues discussed above, the most despicable move Musk made during his monologue was his attempt to use his neurodiversity to excuse his terrible behavior. Look, he said, I know I say or post strange things but thats just how my brain works. To anyone I have offended, I just want to say I reinvented electric cars and Im sending people to Mars on a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill normal dude?
Many autistic people do sometimes communicate in ways that others find unusual, but Musks tweets that offend people are not the ones that are simply written in an atypical style or deviate from particular social norms. Autism does not make you support imperialist coups, bust unions, or force your employees to work in unsafe conditions during a pandemic. Those are all symptoms of being a billionaire.
Neurological differences that impact communication do not exempt anyone from accountability for harming others, and creating rockets and self-driving cars doesnt excuse terrible politics. In the words of Left Voices own Sam Carliner
To be on the spectrum and contribute to the very problems that only make life more difficult for our community is a special level of cruelty. You dont speak for us. You harm us. Seriously, fuck Elon Musk.
You May Like: Adhd In Adults Book
Tesla And Spacex Founder Opens Up On National Tv
Billionaire Elon Musk made his debut as host of Saturday Night Live earlier this month. And true to form, the Tesla and SpaceX founder started making news right in the opening monologue:
“I don’t always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak … which I’m told makes for great comedy. I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL … So, I won’t make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight. But don’t worry, I’m pretty good at running ‘human’ in emulation mode.”
He went on to say, “Look, I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works. To anyone who’s been offended, I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars, and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”
Musk may have been the first to announce he has Asperger’s while hosting SNL, however, he is not the first host with Asperger’s syndrome. Fellow ex-SNL star Jim Belushi pointed out that former cast member Dan Aykroyd, who hosted the show in 2003, has been open about being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in the 1980s.
What Is Asperger’s Syndrome?
What Causes Asperger’s Syndrome?
How Is Asperger’s Syndrome Treated?
Treatment for Asperger’s syndrome depends on each person’s age and needs, and the recommendation is for treatment to begin as early as possible. Many people with Asperger’s syndrome can learn strategies to manage their symptoms.
Musk Talks About His Childhood Growing Up With Asperger Syndrome
Elon Musk is everywhere.
This omnipresence often gives the impression that we know him.
In recent weeks, no other personality has been as much the center of interest as the chief executive officer of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla – Get Tesla Inc. Report.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Musk has almost eclipsed Western diplomacy. Asked by the Ukrainian authorities, he undertook to send Starlink satellite internet connection terminals, manufactured by his aerospace company SpaceX, to Ukraine to prevent Russia from winning the communication war.
Read Also: What Is Vestibular Sense In Autism