Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller spoke about his recent diagnosis while stressing that he didn’t want to be a ‘loud’ voice as the autistic community has ‘historically been talked over’
Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller spoke about his recent diagnosis while stressing that he didn’t want to be a ‘loud’ voice as the autistic community has ‘historically been talked over’ByZoe Delaney
- 13:56, 27 Jul 2021
Prison Break actor Wentworth Miller took to social media on Monday to open up about being diagnosed with autism as an adult.
Mindful that he didn't want to appear to suddenly be "a loud, ill-informed voice in the room", the 49-year-old actor opened up about his journey in a caption on a blank white Instagram image.
The star, who rose to fame as Michael Scofield in the Fox series, thoughtfully reflected on his condition, calling for the "long, flawed process" of getting a diagnosis to be updated.
He wrote: "This fall marks 1 year since I received my informal autism diagnosis. Preceded by a self-diagnosis. Followed by a formal diagnosis.
Actor Wentworth Miller spoke with fans online about his diagnosis
"It was a long, flawed process in need of updating. IMO. I'm a middle-aged man. Not a 5-year-old," the star continued.
"And (it's a "both/and") I recognize [sic] access to a diagnosis is a privilege many do not enjoy."
Autism appears in many people from a young age and means their brain works in a different way from other peoples.
Wentworth found fame in the hit series Prison Break
It is not a medical condition with treatments or a "cure" but some who live with it do need support to help them with certain things.
Wentworth continued his caption of a blank white image to say his diagnosis was a "shock" but not a "surprise", and stressed that he simply wants to share his news, not become a "loud, ill-informed voice" in the Autism community.
"I don't know enough about autism. (There's a lot to know.) Right now my work looks like evolving my understanding. Re-examining 5 decades of lived experience thru a new lens," he wrote on Monday.
"Meanwhile, I don't want to run the risk of suddenly being a loud, ill-informed voice in the room.
"The #autistic community (this I do know) has historically been talked over. Spoken for. I don't wish to do additional harm. Only to raise my hand, say, "I am here. Have been (w/o realizing [sic] it)."
The star was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as Michael Sofield in the hit prison drama
The actor has enjoyed a successful career over the years, transferring his talents off camera in 2013 with his screenwriting debut, Stoker.
In addition to his Golden Globe nominated performance in Prison Break, the England-born star has also had a recurring role on The CW series The Flash before becoming a series regular on the spin-off, Legends of Tomorrow.
While sharing his news, Wentworth also directed his followers towards places they could learn more about neurodiversity should they wish.
"If anyone's interested in delving deeper into #autism + #neurodiversity, I'll point you toward the numerous individuals sharing thoughtful + inspiring content on Instagram, TikTok… Unpacking terminology. Adding nuance. Fighting stigma," the Prison Break star wrote.
"These creators (some quite young) speak to the relevant issues more knowledgeably/fluently than I can. (They've been schooling me as well.)
He added: "That's the extent of what I'm inclined to share atm."
What are the symptoms of autism?
According to the NHS, the main signs of autism are differences in how autistic people communicate and interact with others.
While it affects people in different ways, there are two common characteristics:
- difficulties with social communication and interaction – autistic people may find it hard to join in conversations or to make friends;
- repetitive behaviour, routines and activities – such as fixed daily routines, repetitive body movements and a hypersensitivity to certain sounds.
The 49-year-old actor also praised the "many (many) people" who have assisted him over the years prior to his diagnosis.
"Oh – this isn't something I'd change. No. I get – got – immediately being autistic is central to who I am. To everything I've achieved/articulated," he told his followers.
"Oh – I also want to say to the many (many) people who consciously or unconsciously gave me that extra bit of grace + space over the years, allowed me to move thru the world in a way that made sense to me whether or not it made sense to them… thank you."
The actor, who has edited his bios on Twitter and Instagram to reflect his diagnosis, ended his informative and educational caption on a thankful, inspirational note.
"Another gift," he signed off, before adding his initials W.M.
The post has received almost 100,000 likes in 24 hours and thousands of positive comments.
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