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Greta Thunberg says her Asperger's Syndrome helps her cut through people's 'bulls**t'

Rachel Lang

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Greta Thunberg says her Asperger's Syndrome helps her cut through people's 'bulls**t'

Greta Thunberg has opened up about the public's perception of her and revealed how her Asperger's Syndrome has helped her during her climate activism.

The Swedish 19-year-old rose to global fame after organising climate strikes and refusing to go to school.

She's spent the last few years ruffling feathers around the world with her activism.

Now, she has sat down with Elle UK to reflect on the whirlwind of becoming a social, cultural, and environmental icon, all before finishing her education.

"People seem to think of me as an angry teenager – they obviously haven't met me," Thunberg told Elle UK.

"At least two or three times a day I get laughing attacks where I can't breathe. It can be anything."

 Greta Thunberg "Skolstrejk for Klimatet" (School Strike for Climate) at the 29 March 2019 Fridays For Future climate march, Berlin.Credit: Robert K. Chin / Alamy.
Greta Thunberg "Skolstrejk for Klimatet" (School Strike for Climate) at the 29 March 2019 Fridays For Future climate march, Berlin.Credit: Robert K. Chin / Alamy.

The teen also spoke candidly about living with Asperger's syndrome.

The condition sits on the autism spectrum and can make people who have it perceptively socially awkward.

But not Thunberg.

In fact, she sees it like her own special superpower.

She told the British magazine that her Asperger's helps her cut through 'the bulls**t' in life, politics, and activism.

But she stressed that she has always had a simple message when it comes to the climate: "Don't listen to me."

"Listen to the scientists, listen to the experts, listen to those who are most affected," she told Elle UK.

"I could talk about all these things, but I am a privileged white person who lives in Sweden. I don't really have any story to tell, so it's up to others who need to be heard to [talk about] these things."

Thunberg shot to international fame in August 2018 during the run-up to Sweden's general election.

She decided to stop going into classes at her school in order to draw attention to the climate crisis.

Greta Thunberg, 2019. Credit: Franz Perc / Alamy Live News.
Greta Thunberg, 2019. Credit: Franz Perc / Alamy Live News.

That particular year saw Sweden hit by heatwaves and wildfires, and was the hottest summer in the Scandinavian country since records began 260 years ago.

Her continued action saw her take a gap year from school to tour the world to rally for change.

She eventually returned to her education at 17 and she's since graduated.

Greta posted an image on her first day back, captioned with: "My gap year from school is over, and it feels so great to finally be back in school again!"

Even though school may be over, the fight for the climate isn't.

Thunberg is releasing a memoir to detail her experiences with the climate revolution.

Grab your copy of The Climate Book when it's released on October 27.

Featured Image Credit: Jasper Chamber / Alamy. Michele D'Ottavio / Alamy.

Topics: Greta Thunberg, News, Health, Politics

Rachel Lang
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