Prison Break star Wentworth Miller revealed that he was diagnosed with autism in 2020, assuring his fans that being autistic is vital to who he is and everything he’s achieved.
The COVID-19 outbreak provided many of us with the opportunity to better understand ourselves. And staying in quarantine resulted in an autism diagnosis for Prison Break star Wentworth Miller.
Miller, who shared his diagnosis last week on Instagram, described it as “a shock, but not a surprise.”
Watch: ‘Prison Break’ Star Wentworth Miller Reveals He Has Autism
Like everyone, life in quarantine took things from me. But in the quiet/isolation, I found unexpected gifts. This fall marks 1 year since I received my informal autism diagnosis. Preceded by a self-diagnosis. Followed by a formal diagnosis.
It was a long, flawed process in need of updating. IMO. I’m a middle-aged man. Not a 5-year-old. And (it’s a “both/and”) I recognize access to a diagnosis is a privilege many do not enjoy. Let’s just say it was a shock. But not a surprise.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs of autism spectrum disorder often develop in early life before one turns into an adult and can include challenges with socializing, such as a kid not answering to their name, having difficulty maintaining a conversation, or not holding eye contact. However, this does not preclude people from being diagnosed later in life.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, identifying autism spectrum conditions in adults can be difficult (NIMH). This is due in part to the fact that signs of autism in grownups may coincide with symptoms of mental health conditions such as anxiety or ADHD.
According to the NIMH, the diagnosis normally needs the assistance of a professional, such as a neuropsychologist or a psychiatrist, who will inquire about difficulties in social connections as well as any compulsive habits, sensory impairments, or restricted interests. A person’s growth history may also be beneficial in this case.
Although Miller understands that publicly disclosing his autism diagnosis will place him in a position to communicate to a large audience about the disorder, he says he’s still understanding all the complexities of the issue, including contacting people in the autism spectrum and neurodivergent groups on social media.
Right now my work looks like evolving my understanding. Re-examining five decades of lived experience thru a new lens. That will take time. Meanwhile, I don’t want to run the risk of suddenly being a loud, ill-informed voice in the room.
The 49-year-old also thanked people who had given him that additional bit of compassion and space throughout the years and helped him to walk through the community in a way that felt right to him, regardless of whether it made perfect sense to them.
Miller concludes that being autistic is not really something he wishes to alter about himself. On the contrary, he knew right away that it’s essential to who he is to everything he’s accomplished.