One out of four adults in the U.S. suffer from a mental disorder and one out of 17 suffer from a serious mental illness—but these individuals should never be counted out. Asperger’s Syndrome is an autistic spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication. Jane Austen, Ludwig van Beethoven, Albert Einstein and Vincent van Gogh are thought to have been affected by Asperger’s Syndrome—but this didn’t get in their way of achieving greatness.

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Well known businessman, movie producer and pilot Howard Hughes was affected by extreme OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Howard’s mother died when he was 16 and his father died two years later. He took over his father’s multi-million dollar machinery business before age 20.

Autistic savants typically exhibit exceptional talent in one type of area, which may include mathematical, artistic, music, spatial or mechanical ability. An estimated 750,000 autistic adults are nearing adulthood—and most are underprepared for the workforce. Adequate training can make them incredible employees. Fortunately, companies are beginning to see and utilize the unique abilities of autistic employees.

Many people with mental disabilities are far more able than disabled. Their contributions make the world a better place. To learn more, check out the infographic below!

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