This is a hard topic to discuss, because for some people it feels like autism would be a disqualification, and for others it absolutely isn't. I think we can all agree that none of us want to speak badly about Michael here... and to me it feels like the question raised in this topic, is absolutely sincere. But I also understand, especially since Michael went through so much slander, it's a sensitive subject too.
I want to compare it to something else. I adore the paintings of Claude Monet. Really gorgeous! A few years ago, I visited an exhibition and learned that his 'blurry' style might be the result of an eyeproblem he had. He suffered from cataracts for much of his later life, during which he created his most famous works. Now to me, that's fascinating, because something that is limitating, turned out to be some sort of 'super power'. We've seen that before: Beethoven was deaf, but created his greatest compositions (and actually caused music to change from the Classical Period to the Romantic Period completely on his own) while hearing hardly anything. Stephen Hawking couldn't move – but turned out to be one of the greatest thinkers. Steve Jobs caused a revolution in technology – while battling cancer for many years... knowing his time was limited, made him super focussed. These are all cases where personal health had a huge impact on great talent.
I completely understand there is much more taboo around autism, than around bad eyesight. I also understand why that is.
Personally, I don't think Michael Jackson was in the autism spectrum – but there was something. I always wondered why he performed Billie Jean completely identical for hundreds of times. I always wondered why he would say the same lines before he started the Motown medley on his tours ("And now I am gonna give you...") It's a bit weird that he always did that exactly the same way. On the other hand, that extreme focus is probably what made him so great. I was astounded when I watched the recordings of We Are The World. I saw this bit where Cyndi Lauper and others had to sing their bit time and again, to get it right ONCE. Michael had to sing his bit time and again too, because of them. And he's spot on. Every time. There is no mistake. There is no bad take. What he had to sing, was loaded in his brain, and it was locked... he could have sung it a thousand times. And that is a super power. And yes, it is fascinating where he got that from... and it could well be that his brain simply functioned a bit different from most of us. Could be autism, could be something else. He did great things with it, that's what counts.