If Jerry Seinfeld is indeed on the autism spectrum, he’s a welcome addition to the ranks.
The 60-year-old comedian, who’s done benefits to raise awareness of autism, told NBC anchor Brian Williams that he believes he is “on the spectrum” of the disorder on Thursday, citing a difficulty with “basic social engagement” and “an alternate mindset.”
The organization Autism Speaks, for which Seinfeld has done benefit work, championed the funnyman’s “heartfelt” remarks.
“Jerry Seinfeld has been a champion of the autism community and Autism Speaks for years. The autism spectrum is very broad, representing a diverse community of individuals with a range of talents as well as challenges,” the group said in a statement to TheWrap. “There are many people on the spectrum who can relate to Jerry’s heartfelt comments about his own experiences.”
Autism Society president/CEO Scott Badesch, meanwhile, called Seinfeld “a wonderful person” who could set an example if he does in fact fall along the autism spectrum.
“Recently, Jerry Seinfeld is suggesting he might be on the autism spectrum. For so many of us, Jerry has been an amazing person who has made us laugh and taught us many lessons about life,” Badesch said. “He is a wonderful person and if he is in fact an individual on the spectrum, we are delighted that he will be an example for everyone to see the beauty, intelligence, skill, and everything else that defines so many who live with Autism Spectrum Disorder.”
In his sit-down with Williams, Seinfeld said, “”I think in a very drawn-out scale, I think I’m on the spectrum.”
The comedian added, “You’re never paying attention to the right things. Basic social engagement is really a struggle. I’m very literal. When people talk to me and they use expressions, sometimes I don’t know what they’re saying,” Seinfeld said. “I don’t see it as dysfunctional, I just think of it as an alternate mindset.”