Autism Wiki

Asperger's and Self-Esteem: Insight and Hope Through Famous Role Models is a book by Norm Ledgin with a foreword by Temple Grandin. Written only a few years after Diagnosing Jefferson, the book is stylistically similar. The book focuses on ways to help autistic students with self-esteem and how they can get support at school. The book identifies a list of people as having traits of Asperger syndrome. Today's young people and adults with AS can also make a difference if they are given support, opportunities, and the freedom to explore their abilities.[1] From composer Amadeus Mozart to astronomer Carl Sagan, Ledgin examines the evidence of Asperger’s Syndrome in some of history’s most famous men and women and shows how, despite their apparent challenges, each made an immeasurable contribution to the world.[2]

A French translation was published in 2008 under the title Ces autistes qui changent le monde.[3]


The first five chapters are about ways to help Autistic students get the support they need - A Challenge for Parents Teachers and Health-Care Professionals, The Lonely Perspective of the Asperger’s Child, Dealing with Fixations that Drive Us Nuts, A Ride in the Time Machine of Logic and Finding and Offering Relevant Role Models. Chapters six through to eighteen then talk about a different historical figure and argues they demonstrated characteristics of Asperger syndrome. The first person mentioned is Thomas Jefferson, whose chapter is basically a summary of Diagnosing Jefferson. The last five chapters return to the subject matter of the first five - Surprising and Strange Parallels, A New Look at the Concept of Genius, Our Discomforts - Their Rights, Choosing to be Gentle on Their Minds and Parents as Role Models. The book focuses on the positive traits of Autism, and has a list at the end in the appendix.[4]

Gallery of role models[]


  • Phil Gluyas; "Purely based on the structure, the names listed (especially Einstein and Mozart) and the volume of research Ledgin did, this is a must have in order to truly understand the breadth of the Autistic Spectrum and what can be achieved with the proper adjustments and guidance in place. Being a genius is not automatic. It is learned, and those on the Autistic Spectrum with little to no sensory overloads are the most capable of doing so."
  • Matt Erickson; "This book showed that people see things more as black and white, highlighting that an unrecognized deference to these people as moral leaders/guardians may signal exploitation. This is the "poor in spirit" mentioned in the bible-and if one continues reading, one sees their suggested compensation."[5]
  • Phillip Childs; "I am definitely enjoying the insight into this condition. As a 38 year old man that is very recently diagnosed with Aspergers I am appreciating understanding what it means."[6]
  • Bookwyrm; "Very helpful book! My daughter has Asperger's and sometimes feels the weight of being different. This was a great collection of research and info on people we can all admire. Knowing that these people were not perfect, were different, is a great help for someone who'd like to feel as if they'll fit in and that being different isn't all bad... that they can make a difference and maybe being different can be a very good thing. It also helps that Temple Grandin is one of her heroes."[7]