Donald Triplett was the first person ever diagnosed with autism. Today, at age 77, he lives independently in his hometown of Forest, Miss., exemplifying what’s possible for those with autism entering adulthood.

For Triplett, life started out somewhat rocky, with time spent in an institution on the recommendation of doctors. But his parents, who owned the local bank in Forest, didn’t leave him for long and ultimately used their wealth to seek out the world’s best doctors to understand what made their son different. After all, he could recite the 23rd Psalm at age 2, but struggled to interact with others.

They got their answer when the doctor they sought out published a paper in 1943, which was the first to explore the idea of autism. In it, Triplett was identified as case 1.

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Today, 67 years later, Triplett lives a happy life, filled with a daily golf game and frequent travels around the world. He’s not one for intense conversation, often answering questions in just a few words, and he likes to be alone. But he has many friends in Forest who are quick to defend the man they know is different but brilliant, reports The Atlantic. To read more click here.

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