Actress reveals that she was diagnosed with autism as a kid

Recently, a famous actress publicly revealed that, when she was a kid, she was given an autism diagnosis. The actress in question is Daryl Hannah. Hannah is 52. During her career, she has starred in many movies, including "Wall Street" and "Splash."

According to Hannah, after she was diagnosed with autism, a recommendation was made by doctors that she be institutionalized. This perhaps reflects a sad tendency in the past to cordon off individuals with developmental disabilities and mental impairments rather than help them integrate into the rest of society.

Hannah's mother decided to not listen to the doctors' recommendation and did not institutionalize Hannah.

When she was 17, Hannah started pursuing a career in Hollywood. She kept her diagnosis hidden from movie executives. Sadly, in the past, many individuals, including some employers, associated a stigma with autism and didn't give people with this developmental disability a fair chance. This may have led to many individuals with autism trying to hide their condition.

As one can see from Hannah's film credits, she ended up succeeding to a rather large degree in her film career. Hannah says, however, that she did experience significant challenges from her shyness (which she attributes to her autism diagnosis) and her discomfort with fame.

As one can see, Hannah has faced many challenges during her career, some from her condition and others from society. She overcame a lot and serves as an example that individuals with autism can go far in life.

In the time since Hannah was diagnosed with autism, society has improved a lot in how it views and treats individuals with this developmental disability. One hopes that it continues to do so. Individuals with autism shouldn't have to have additional challenges placed on them by society.

One also hopes that society continues to improve in its ability to provide support for individuals with autism. Individuals with autism, like all individuals, should be given the chance to succeed.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Actress Opens Up About Autism Diagnosis," Michelle Diament, Sept. 27, 2013

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