Speaking of neurodiversity: Elon Musk has Asperger’s Syndrome

Elon Musk, the famous Tesla and SpaceX businessman, opened his Saturday Night Live monologue by explaining that he has Asperger’s Syndrome.

The billionaire claimed to be the first person with this syndrome to be invited to SNL. “Or at least the first to admit it,” she said.

“I know that I have said or published strange things, but it’s just the way my brain works. To anyone who has offended I simply want to say: I reinvented electric cars and I am sending people to Mars in a rocket, “he said.

“Did you think he was also going to be a relaxed and normal guy?”

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What else happened on SNL?

Musk has received much criticism for comments such as his public mockery of the SEC (United States Securities and Exchange Commission) and for insulting a diver who rescued a group of children trapped in a cave in Thailand.

But on SNL, Musk made jokes about himself: his tweets, his son’s unusual name …

And of course, as a great promoter of cryptocurrencies, he praised dogecoin again.

Pressed to say exactly what this cryptocurrency was, the billionaire described it as “an unstoppable vehicle that is going to take over the world.” To later add that it really is noise.

Then, for the second time this week, Musk changed the price of the coin, which fell as much as 49 cents during the broadcast of the show, when shortly before it was 74 cents, according to CoinDesk.

During the show, SNL actors wondered why the billionaire would have wanted to join them on set.

And in a segment about the Chinese rocket re-entering Earth’s atmosphere at the same time the show aired, they concluded that the space entrepreneur “needed an alibi.”

A neurodiverse world

The Elon Musk statements, beyond being controversial, contribute to the debate of a neurodiverse world.

Still in the 1980s autistic people were considered “mentally ill”, but now the debate is beginning to recognize that not all of us process information and interact in the same way.

Federico Kukso, in the 30th edition of the digital magazine Tec Review, explains to us what are the conditions that are considered within the neurodiverse world:

Autism spectrum disorder

It is a complex developmental condition that involves challenges in social interaction, communication, and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors. The effects and symptoms are different for each person. That is why we speak of the spectrum. The most obvious signs are detected between two and three years.

What is Asperger’s Syndrome

It is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties when transmitting emotions with body language and tone of voice, or because people find it difficult to adapt to different situations. It was first described in the 1940s. There are still those who consider it a less severe form of autism.


Learning disorder characterized by difficulty in identifying a specific sound with a letter. Also called a “reading disability,” it affects areas of the brain that process language. Most children with dyslexia can be successful in school with tutoring or a specialized educational program.


The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) defines it as a learning disorder that affects the ability to understand and work with numbers and mathematical concepts. It is estimated that it probably occurs in 3 to 6% of the population.


Chronic neurological disorder characterized by unpredictable seizures that may be related to a brain injury or a family tendency, but the cause is often unknown. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, some 65 million people in the world live with it. Some people require lifelong treatment.


It is a neurological disorder that affects physical coordination (problems with movement, coordination and poor balance), but also sometimes influences processing, memory and some other cognitive abilities. Specialists consider that it is between three and four times more common in boys than in girls.

Attention deficit disorder

Neurobiological disorder originating in childhood. It is marked by a continuous pattern of inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity. Symptoms can appear between the ages of three and six and can continue into adolescence and adulthood.

Tourette syndrome

Neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements (tics) of the face (blinking, grimacing, twitching of the nose), arms or
from the trunk. The tics are frequent, repetitive, and fast. There are also vocal tics such as grunting, clearing, yelling, and barking. It manifests first in childhood or adolescence.

Obsessive compulsive disorder

It is a mental disorder in which people have repetitive and undesirable thoughts, feelings, ideas, obsessions and behaviors that drive them to do something over and over again. Causes can be head injuries, infections, and abnormal function in certain areas of the brain.

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Other celebrities on the spectrum

With his appearance on SNL, Elon Musk joins other celebrities who have made his condition public.

“I have Asperger’s and that means that sometimes I’m a little bit different from the norm. And being different is a super power, ”Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg wrote in a tweet on August 31, 2019.

She was diagnosed in 2015. Rather than limiting her, her condition has made her special. If she didn’t, she confesses, she wouldn’t be such a passionate activist.

In 2008, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe revealed that he has a mild form of dyspraxia.

He admitted that it manifests itself in the inability to tie his shoelaces, as well as in bad handwriting. “It has never held me back and some of the smartest people I know are people with learning disabilities,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

Darryl Hannah, known for movies like Splash and Kill Bill, always cost her promotional events. “Going to the Oscars was very difficult,” he said.

This caused several Hollywood studios to blacklist her. In 2013, the actress revealed that she was diagnosed with mild Asperger syndrome as a teenager.

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