Consistent reports and scientific evidence show that the planet is in a state of environmental crisis, and it’s clear that changes need to happen if we want to protect and preserve our world for future generations. People of all ages are getting involved and standing up for the fight against climate change, and young Greta Thunberg has been one of the key figures of the movement, especially among teens and young people. Unfortunately, some people have seen fit to insult Greta, with some particularly cruel commenters judging her based on her appearance and direct manner of speaking. As usual, the brave teen has fought back.
Greta, who is just 16 but has accomplished so much already, made a name for herself in the summer of 2018, when she went on strike from her school to protest against a lack of action in response to the climate crisis.
Her actions turned into a global movement, triggering peaceful protests and strikes among schoolchildren and young people far and wide.
As is the case with many public figures, even those who are doing nothing but good things, Greta has also come in for a lot of criticism, with some of her meanest detractors making cruel comments about the way she looks and her direct, matter-of-fact way of speaking.
In July, an Australian News Corp writer named Andrew Bolt wrote a shocking column calling Greta’s mental health into question and saying she seemed to be “deeply disturbed”. Other journalists and online commenters made jokes and remarks about Greta’s mannerisms.
In response, Greta revealed that she was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome several years ago, which she admits makes her “a bit different”, while also saying that, in her view, “being different is a superpower”.
I’m not public about my diagnosis to “hide” behind it, but because I know many ignorant people still see it as an “illness”, or something negative. And believe me, my diagnosis has limited me before. >
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) 31 August 2019
Asperger’s, part of the autism spectrum, is believed to affect more than 37 million people worldwide.
One of the leading authorities on the syndrome, Tony Attwood, said that people who are diagnosed with Asperger’s tend to be “direct, speaking their mind and being honest”, adding that they often had “a strong sense of social justice”. It definitely sounds like a superpower to us too, and one that is sorely needed these days.
Greta has also revealed that before she got into the climate strike movement, she had “no energy, no friends”, adding that she also suffered from an eating disorder, but ever since she started to protest, her whole life has changed in a lot of positive ways, despite the critics and the haters.
She also said she didn’t intentionally want to “hide” her diagnosis, but kept it a secret for a while as she knew that people might use it against her. Not for the first time, she’s shown a lot of bravery and is setting a wonderful example for everyone. You can hear more from Greta on Asperger syndrome in the video below, where she calls it a “gift”.
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