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Spielberg Does Not Have Asperger's Syndrome

by Anne Thompson
March 29, 2010 9:22 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Imagine my surprise when listening to an NPR report stating as fact that Steven Spielberg has Asperger's Syndrome. Anyone who has had any interaction with the guy knows that he's not only a super-smart and gifted filmmaker with extraordinary technological command (which easily could accompany an Asperger's diagnosis), but he's also highly intuitive, with warmth, charm and social skills to spare (which is far less frequent).

So it was not a surprise when his spokesman Marvin Levy came back to me today with an email confirming that there was "No truth" to the report. "It's that simple."

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More: Directors, News, Steven Spielberg


  • agente007 | July 6, 2014 9:03 AMReply

    I’m an Italian girl, and I have the Aspergher’s syndrome. I’m not agree with this article. I can’t be sure about Spielberger, but I’m sure about me. I have high social competences, I’m kind and sweet with others, in particular with my friends, my little cousins and my parents. I don’t seem Aspie like my father and some of my older cousins too. My teachers have said me there is another Aspergher in my class, but they couldn’t say who because privacy, but I can see the are almost other 3. This syndrome is more common that people think, and I’m so tired to hide myself. For this comment I’m using a false name too.
    I see the other “normal teenagers”, superficial and insensitive, If they are normal, I’m pride to be different.

  • Eusantis | July 26, 2012 9:18 AMReply

    You are writing lies.

    Read THIS:

  • Steve | April 20, 2012 10:53 AMReply

    I googled "does Steven Spielberg have asperger syndrome", and this is what I got
    "According to his agents, he does not. It has been a rumor spread via the Internet but denied by Steven Spielberg and I would think he would know." trying to add a link but I dont know if it will show up in the comments area or not
    ( )

  • @blogger | April 16, 2012 11:41 AMReply

    I hope you're just clamoring for attention and aren't actually this ignorant.

  • Hannah | November 24, 2010 8:10 AMReply

    My six years old son has Aspergers syndrome and he's very emotional, very tender, soft, caring... Always kissing and hugging, telling how much he loves me and that his sister might be the "best person in the whole world". Aspies can be very emotional and emphatic, even "over"-emphatic compared to "normal" people. (English is my fourth language, so please, take that in consideration before you start mocking my writing...)

  • Rambo | March 31, 2010 2:42 AMReply

    LOL -- thanks Switch, was wondering why so many ppl would pound on such an esteemd hwd journo. IMDB, assburgers, iMassburgers DB.

    Kind of makes the internet epic --- IMDB may hold great treasures, but beware the bloodthirsty trolls that guard its keep.

  • switch | March 30, 2010 4:43 AMReply

    Oh man, this is hilarious.

    Every time one of Anne's posts gets linked through IMDb, all manner of blood thirsty internet trolls come out of the woods to flame her.

    It doesn't even matter what the topic is or how she writes about it. The IMDb users see a link, they click it, then flame on!

    And they always say the same thing. They say she's not qualified to be a "journalist" (the quotes added by them), that she should be immediately fired, that she doesn't know anything, that since she reports on the web she's obviously a hack (you know, because the real pros never write online), that's she an idiot and a moron, that they could do her job better than her, that she should shut up, and then they just spout off random insults. (Yeah, that'll show her!)

    And strange enough, that's the exact same kind of behavior you find on the IMDb message boards. You know, the message boards notorious around the web for being populated by unhinged nut cases.

    IMDb is the first stop destination for the most ridiculous people the internet has to offer. I just didn't know that they all suffer from Asperger's. I guess you learn something new every day.

    Tell me, Anne. Is the traffic boost worth the abuse?

    (And to the people who commented above that have Asperger's, how does acting belligerently prove that you possess normal social skills?)

  • Ganondox | December 28, 2011 8:41 PM

    Acting belligerently does not prove that someone has Aspergers, however, autistic people tend to have higher than average affective empathy, so belligerent behavior is less likely among the autistic. Also, manipulative behavior requires significant social skills, and a lot of belligerent behavior is manipulative in nature, and visa verse. Remember, Aspergers is not simply a lack of social skills.

  • Katherine | March 30, 2010 4:01 AMReply

    Pick yourself up, brush yourself off. Apologize and do better, next time. I know you can.

  • Steven | March 29, 2010 12:57 PMReply

    It's "ASPERGER", thank you.

  • Miles Doornbos | March 29, 2010 12:54 PMReply

    I'm rarely of the nature to respond to blogs, but what your statement implies is beyond absurd. Not that people with Asperger's need to be defended, but how ignorant can you get?

    I see that you've now edited the piece without footnoting the edits (which, while a little deceitful, is certainly your prerogative), might I suggest removing the piece in its entirety?

    Oh...wait, this blog is written by a woman? Oh, well, that makes perfect sense. Lord knows women excel at making both homes and babies, but rarely as writers or journalists.

    Oh, I'm sorry, is that an absurd over-generalization? My goodness, where would I have picked that up from?

  • Jujubes Aregood | March 29, 2010 12:48 PMReply

    Ass burgers haha

  • Anthony | March 29, 2010 12:44 PMReply

    Everyone with any kind of knowledge is perfectly aware how intelligent Spielberg is. His films may not be David Lynch-level complex, but he as a man is very smart.

  • Ganondox | December 28, 2011 8:44 PM

    ....and how does this relate to the article in anyway? People with Aspergers are often very intelligent, and people who are very intelligent often don't have Aspergers, that proves nothing at all.

  • Mark | March 29, 2010 12:22 PMReply

    I am glad to see the spelling of Asperger's has been corrected. I guess the position of an editor no longer exists in this day and age with everyone and their mother being a "journalist", thanks to the Internet. It would have been nice to indicate that there are some extremely brilliant people in this world with Asperger's Syndrome, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates.

  • scott | March 29, 2010 12:21 PMReply

    Why are they defending him as those, the unfortunate people that have that disease are some kind of lepers. Suffice to say, "During an interview with Kirk Gibson and his wife, about their son's illness, it was mentioned by Kirk Gibson's wife, that Spielberg has the disease". This comment, for the record, is untrue. PERIOD. That would be the classy way to handle it. Mr. Spielberg, I am currently looking for work, apparently I am a better spokesperson that your current person.

  • Tim roberts | March 29, 2010 12:07 PMReply

    Let me start off with, You are one of the most ignorant journalists ever. You have failed to do your research, and thus have a number of people laughing at you. I picked up on this article from IMDB, not the best news source on the Internet, but I expected someone with their news linked in with IMDB to at least have half a clue. I'm a student in Professional Writing and Editing, whilst my current aim is for a Creative Industry Career, I have done Journalism work before. I have Aspergers Syndrome, and whilst you attempt at pulling off some major story regarding the disorder you've failed in not only your attempts (twice) to spell the disorder wrong (If you properly had researched your article and actually bothered to spend time Editing your own work you'd have a half-decent article). but your descriptions as to how the Disorder effects one person to another is completely inaccurate. Next time, Do some research before submitting a final piece for the world to read.

  • Anne Thompson | March 29, 2010 12:04 PMReply

    My knowledge of Asperger's Syndrome is superficial at best. Although I have a cousin who has it, there is a wide range of folks with this diagnosis, many of whom are far more functional, in many ways, than I am.

  • Adam | March 29, 2010 11:54 AMReply

    Um, this has been reported in various outlets over the last few years.

    (Doesn't mean it's necessarily true, but it's not like the reporter made it up from whole cloth.)

  • Cameron | March 29, 2010 11:48 AMReply

    I have Asperger's Syndrome. I interact warmly and intuitively with others, and though I had to learn them manually and they didn't come as easily to me as to others, I've learned social skills over the years and have specifically been called "charming" before (and I'm only twenty; someone at Spielberg's age has had much more time to become skilled at social interaction). I strongly suspect from this writing that you don't actually know anyone who has this condition, nor did you do adequate research. Personally, I don't care for the societal expectation of me as a cold, emotionless robot, a stigma to which you are carelessly contributing with your amateur diagnosis.

  • Rob | March 29, 2010 11:25 AMReply

    "Maybe I am misreading this article, but is this “reporter” implying someone with Asperger’s Syndrome (it’s with a P, not a B moron) COULD NOT be a “super-smart” and gifted filmmaker with extraordinary technological command, but also intuitive, with warmth, charm and social skills to spare?"

    Yes. At least the social skills.

  • Jaymie | March 29, 2010 11:16 AMReply

    The diagnosis is called Aspergers Syndrome. And maybe next time you should look it up for the correct spelling and correct diagnosis before you write about it.

  • Mark | March 29, 2010 11:12 AMReply

    Maybe I am misreading this article, but is this "reporter" implying someone with Asperger's Syndrome (it's with a P, not a B moron) COULD NOT be a "super-smart" and gifted filmmaker with extraordinary technological command, but also intuitive, with warmth, charm and social skills to spare?

  • Concerned in the City | March 29, 2010 11:07 AMReply

    You mean Asperger syndrome, named for the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger?

  • Andrew | March 29, 2010 10:42 AMReply

    super-smart??? What are you, about 13-years-old? :)

  • Ryan Gilles | March 29, 2010 10:05 AMReply

    Emphasis on "technological command".

    Because his supposed "smartness" certainly resides nowhere else in his art.

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