Nobel-nominated teen climate activist posts Autism Awareness Day message

A 16-year-old Swedish climate activist whose address to the United Nations Climate Change Conference made headlines last year discussed her experience with autism on World Autism Awareness Day in a Facebook post Tuesday.

Greta Thunberg, who founded the Youth Strike for Climate, has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome as well as ADHD, selective mutism and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In her post on April 2, she wrote that while she is “proud to be on the spectrum,” autism “is not a ‘gift.’ ”

“For most it is an endless fight against schools, workplaces and bullies. But under the right circumstances, given the right adjustments it CAN be a superpower,” she wrote. “I’ve had my fair share of depressions, alienation, anxiety and disorders. But without my diagnosis, I would never have started school striking. Because then I would have been like everyone else.”

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In the post, Thunberg credited her diagnosis with giving her the insight to work on her climate activism.

“Our societies need to change, and we need people who think outside the box and we need to start taking care of each other. And embrace our differences,” she wrote.

Thunberg was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism. “Greta Thunberg has launched a mass movement which I see as a major contribution to peace,” said Freddy André Øvstegård, a Socialist member of the Norwegian Parliament.