Elon Musk Says He Has Asperger’s
The billionaire behind Tesla and SpaceX says he’s on the autism spectrum.
While hosting “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend, Elon Musk said he has Asperger’s syndrome.
“I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL — or at least the first to admit it,” Musk said in his monologue. “So I won’t make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight. But don’t worry, I’m pretty good at running human in emulation mode.”
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During the appearance, Musk made light of his monotone voice and his propensity to say things that don’t go over well.
“I know I sometimes say or post strange things, but that’s just how my brain works,” he said. “To anyone I’ve offended, I just want to say, I reinvented electric cars and I’m sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I was also going to be a chill, normal dude?”
The diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome — a high-functioning form of autism — was eliminated by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013 with the introduction of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. At that time, Asperger’s was folded into a broader diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, with clinicians specifying a level of severity.
Nonetheless, many people on the spectrum continue to identify with the Asperger’s label.