Greta Thunberg, a Swedish activist and environmentalist, recently began an extensive strike at the age of 16 to protest climate change. Her activism has drawn support from social-media influencers like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg. Although she’s only been speaking publicly for three years, her message is resonating with millennials in particular as they struggle with their future.
Greta Thunberg, who is autistic, has been a social media sensation since she started her “school strike for climate” in Sweden.
What do the well-known people Michelangelo, Emily Dickinson, Thomas Jefferson, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein have in common? They are all believed to have been on the autism spectrum to some extent, despite the fact that there was no such diagnosis at the time or a conclusive way to prove it, according to contemporary professionals who have researched the typical ASD characteristics that set them apart from others; each of these historical figures is also known to us for their creative brilliance as well as their pioneering ideas and actions during their time on earth.
The Youngest Pioneer in the World
Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager, is a relatively current and well-known person in the globe who has been creating a lot of waves and has been upfront about her diagnosis of ASD. Greta is well-known for her environmental activism and her weekly #FridaysforFuture campaign, in which young people protest governments throughout the world’s failure to address the present global climate problem. Greta not only started protesting at the young age of 15 and created an unprecedented global movement in 2018, but she also won Time’s Person of the Year in 2019 for motivating people all over the world, both young and old, both with and without autism, to push past their comfort zones and make a difference.
Greta began spending her days camping out in front of the Swedish Parliament in August of that year while carrying a placard that said, “School Strike for Climate,” in black characters on a white backdrop. She has spoken to world leaders at the United Nations in the 16 months afterwards, visited with the Pope, argued with the US president, and encouraged 4 million people to participate in the worldwide climate strike on September 20, 2019, which was the greatest climate protest in human history (Time).
Greta hasn’t yet been intimidated by ominous politicians, scared off by hate or threats, or discouraged by the paperwork and complications that come with being a soldier on the political front lines; and when someone challenges her identity or denies climate change, she responds with dignity and the truth.
At the U.N. conference, Greta fiercely addressed the crowd while taking on political figures from all around the globe. “We are at the beginning of a mass extinction,” she said. “And the only topics you bring up are money and myths about unending economic expansion. You’re very rude!
Few young persons in contemporary history have had the kind of influence that Greta has. Others, like Malala Yousafzai and Emma González, have garnered attention and left a lasting impression on people all over the world on important issues like education rights and gun violence; however, each of their platforms got their start as a result of tragic personal events that inspired them to change attitudes and laws in their own countries. Greta is distinct from these other young women because she wanted to start something locally that would spread worldwide because she saw a larger, more harmful global challenge—one that would eventually destroy our planet. If you listen attentively, you can still hear the ruckus she caused as a little girl thanks to her selfless thoughts and resources.
She has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is another distinction.
See also: What are the 10 autism spectrum disorder (ASD) Signs that are Most Common?
Does Greta’s diagnosis of autism really matter?
Finding out that Greta Thunberg has Asperger’s Syndrome has not, for many of us, diminished our view of her—and it shouldn’t. Greta’s traits and personality, together with her other diseases, which often go hand in hand with ASD territory, simply define who she is.
Greta wrote that she delayed disclosing her Asperger’s because she was aware that “many uninformed people still consider it as a ‘disease’, or something terrible.” Greta equated her autism to something big and significant rather than seeing it as a disability: Greta wrote, “I have Asperger’s and that means I’m occasionally a little different from the usual.” And under the appropriate conditions, being unique may be a superpower.
Having said that, characteristics of autism do not necessarily manifest negatively. Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder were both diagnosed in Greta, as shown by the following:
Her capacity to remain intensely concentrated on a subject; she has in-depth knowledge of a variety of interesting topics
She doesn’t worry about social or economic hierarchies, celebrity, or prestige since everyone is on an equal footing with her.
Her capacity for unconventional thinking; she approaches problem-solving from a really fresh point of view.
Her superior skill and intellect
Her remarkable oratory skills
She has excellent integrity and speaks the truth; she doesn’t have any ulterior motives.
She does and expresses what she feels is correct and does not bend herself into anything based on societal expectations; she does not give in to bullies or what may be a popular viewpoint among others.
She is highly understanding of people, regardless of their peculiarities or oddities.
Right now, the world needs someone to speak out for it, and Greta is doing just that. She stands for strength, endurance in the face of hardship, and optimism for our world and its people. Greta is an inspiration to many young women and girls who are following in her footsteps to raise awareness of climate change in their neighborhoods and beyond. People on the spectrum are thrilled to watch a fellow Aspie—Greta refers to herself as an Aspie—rise up and be such a powerful figure.
In direct response to the aforementioned query, Greta Thunberg’s autism is irrelevant. The fact that she is who she is is what matters. and she makes no excuses for it. She is a youthful force of nature who will only become stronger as she works to rescue the environment.
Northeastern State University offers the Master of Education degree.
Disorders of Behavior and Learning | Georgia State University
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.