Donald Gray Triplett is from Forest, Mississippi and has autism. Donald was born in September, 1933 and will turn 80 this year. Donald Triplett was the first person ever diagnosed with autism. Donald Triplett is an Autism Light for making history with the first autism diagnosis and for having a long and happy life that reveals much about the lifespan of someone with autism. There is an entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica on Donald Gray Triplett in recognition of him being the first person diagnosed with autism.
Donald Triplett was referred to as "Case 1....Donald T" in a 1943 medical article and starting with that piece of information John Donvan and Caren Zucker were amazingly able to track Donald down in Forest, Mississippi. Here is a video that John Donvan and Caren Zucker called "Finding Donald" about their research of locating Donald for an article they penned for the Atlantic in October, 2010 (Source).
FOR ALL THE PROGRESS that Donald has made in the decades since—the driving, the golfing—conversation is an art that continues to elude him. He initiates on occasion, but his purpose is generally to elicit a piece of information he needs (“What time is lunch?”) or to make a passing observation (his comment about the sticker on our car). A regular chat, the casual back-and-forth of kicking around an idea, is something he has never experienced. (Source).
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.