Elon Musk: ‘That’s just how my brain works’ – Billionaire’s Asperger’s syndrome explained
The National Autistic Society outline common autism traits
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Musk, 50, is worth an estimated $270 billion, according to Investopedia. But becoming the richest man in the world is not the only reason he has made history. Last May, the entrepreneur claimed to be the first person with Asperger’s syndrome to host the American comedy sketch show, Saturday Night Live, which has been running since 1975. Before Musk, the show has been hosted by all sorts of pop culture legends, including Adele, Ringo Starr, Chris Rock, and Will Ferrell.
As he opened the show, the billionaire said: “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 [Saturday Night Live].”
Musk’s claim was disputed online, however. It was pointed out on Twitter that Canadian actor Dan Aykroyd, who has been open about his Asperger’s, had hosted the show in 2003.
Regardless, this was supposedly the first time Musk had spoken about having the condition.
Asperger’s syndrome is part of a brain development condition called autism spectrum disorder. In the past, it was said to be a milder or high-functioning form of autism.
People with the condition are likely to have difficulty with socialising and become focused on rules and routines, explains the National Autistic Society.
Musk joked about how his “brain” is responsible for his popular but “strange” social media posts.
“Look, I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works,” he said.
The entrepreneur has 80.6 million followers on Twitter, the company he now owns a 9.2 percent stake of. On the platform, he is known for posting random comments, cultural references, and memes.
“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?”
Aside from difficulty socialising and being routine-centric, according to the NHS, people with Asperger’s can “come across as blunt, rude or not interested in others”.
The health body also suggests they may also avoid eye contact and not engage in social norms. Moreover, they are likely to plan things carefully before doing them.
Musk is one of many other high-performing individuals that have opened up about their Asperger’s.
Susan Boyle, who was laughed at on her first Britain’s Got Talent show for her appearance, also opened up about having the condition – alongside names like Anthony Hopkins and David Byrne.
She told The Guardian back in 2013: “It’s a condition that I have to live with and work through, but I feel more relaxed about myself.
“People will have a greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do.”
The Asperger-Autism network notes that the positive qualities of the condition include an incredible memory, high IQ, and a distinctive sense of humour.
It is best to get an early diagnosis of autism as a child. Therefore, the NHS recommends visiting your GP if you think your child has symptoms of the condition.
This will enable them to be given the resources they need at school.
Other symptoms of autism include not making eye contact or smiling back at people, as well as repeating phrases and movements.
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