During an interview with Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News Thursday, Seinfeld said he believes he falls into the autism spectrum scale. "I think, on a very drawn-out scale, I think I'm on the spectrum." The comedian was asked to elaborate on the markers of autism disorder and he further explained how he came to this conclusion.
"You're never paying attention to the right things. Basic social engagement is really a struggle," Seinfeld said. "I'm very literal. When people talk to me and they use expressions, sometimes I don't know what they're saying."
However, Seinfeld also admitted that he doesn't think being on the spectrum is really a disability. "I don't see it as dysfunctional. I just think of it as an alternate mindset."
Seinfeld's self-conclusion may just point out that the definition of autism has broadened to the point of being overly subjective. Who doesn't have some kind of quirkiness or odd behavior? In my opinion, pretty much most of us could fit into the spectrum in one way or another.
The definition of autism spectrum disorder per the National Institute of Mental Health is described as follows:
"The term 'spectrum' refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment or disability that children with ASD can have. Some children are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled. The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) no longer includes Asperger’s syndrome; the characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome are included within the broader category of ASD."
Some people believe the "wide range of symptoms" is what comes to mind when questioning what is and what is not considered autistic these days.
But, while the autism spectrum may have lost some of its defining limits, classic autism is still out there and many kids do suffer from it. So, it's always welcomed when stars like Seinfeld donate their time to promote autism benefit charities.
Over the years, the comedic legend has performed at several events benefiting autism causes such as Autism Speaks and 2012's Night of Too Many Stars.
Whether on the spectrum or not, Seinfeld has entertained millions and he remains a humble comedian. He still likes to do stand-up in small clubs and doesn't dwell on his fame.
"I know that's the healthiest thing I can do," Seinfeld explained. "If you're more interested in what you have achieved or what your financial position enables you to do than that thing that got those things, you're screwed. In my opinion, you're screwed."
Meanwhile, a slew of people have already taken to Twitter to voice their opinion on Seinfeld's autism self-diagnosis, and they are not happy about it. Read on to see what they are saying.
@AutismNI @ If he is on spectrum, he's off charts->>HF. Some think quirky=autism. I'm quirky but fully able to care 4 myself=no comparison— The Beauty of Autism (@AutismJournal) November 7, 2014
Your adult child with ASD languishing in nursing home, non-verbal dependent has SAME condition as Jerry Seinfield! http://t.co/1sRUwiTI61— Autism N.Ireland (@AutismNI) November 7, 2014
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