We are lucky to live in a time where there is so much less stigma attached to neurodivergent people than there ever used to be. We are seeing more and more public figures opening up about their conditions, and on World Autism Awareness Day we explore seven celebrities who all identify with having a high-functioning form of autism called Asperger Syndrome.

Anthony Hopkins at a King Lear press conference in 2018 / Photo Credit: Shooting Stars/SIPA USA/PA Images

Anthony Hopkins at a King Lear press conference in 2018 / Photo Credit: Shooting Stars/SIPA USA/PA Images

Anthony Hopkins

It's no secret that this Oscar winning film veteran is an exceptionally talented actor, director, producer, composer and painter, but many don't realise that he's actually been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. He revealed that he was "high end" Asperger's in an interview with the Desert Sun back in 2017. "Asperger's people tend to be creative or severely handicapped", he said. "I don't know if that's true of me, but I know I can never be restful. I tend to multi-task. I decide I'm not going to paint and then I'll spend 24 hours painting."

Jerry Seinfeld

In 2014, the comedian spoke to NBC's Brian Williams and revealed that he suspected he was on the autism spectrum because of his difficulties with social interaction and his habit of taking things literally in conversation. "I don't see it as dysfunctional, I just think of it as an alternate mindset", he said.

Jerry Seinfeld performing at the Philly Fights Cancer event in 2018 / Photo Credit: Ricky Fitchett/Zuma Press/PA Images
Jerry Seinfeld performing at the Philly Fights Cancer event in 2018 / Photo Credit: Ricky Fitchett/Zuma Press/PA Images

Daryl Hannah

It was announced in Forbes in 2013 that actor and political activist Daryl Hannah was diagnosed as autistic as a child; though back then the only options presented by doctors were medication and a mental hospital. Since then she's struggled with crippling shyness and uses a technique called "stimming" - or self-stimulatory behaviour - to comfort herself which in her case includes rocking back and forth when she's anxious.

Daryl Hannah at the Netflix Australia launch in 2015 / Photo Credit: Paul Miller/AAP/PA Images
Daryl Hannah at the Netflix Australia launch in 2015 / Photo Credit: Paul Miller/AAP/PA Images

Courtney Love

The former punk star was recognised as exhibiting autistic behaviour at the age of nine. In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone she revealed that she was extremely introverted and wouldn't speak as a child, and visited a psychiatrist for the first time when she was three. However, her symptoms became less pronounced as she got older.

Courtney Love at Daily Front Row Fashion Awards 2019 / Photo Credit: Admedia Inc/SIPA USA/PA Images
Courtney Love at Daily Front Row Fashion Awards 2019 / Photo Credit: Admedia Inc/SIPA USA/PA Images

Susan Boyle

This Britain's Got Talent prodigy was raised believing she had a learning disability and even that she was somehow brain-damaged, but found out in 2012 that she actually had Asperger Syndrome. She revealed this news in an interview the following year, and admitted that the diagnosis made her feel "relieved and a bit more relaxed" about herself.

Susan Boyle at Stobo Castle Ladies Day in 2015 / Photo Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/PA Images
Susan Boyle at Stobo Castle Ladies Day in 2015 / Photo Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/PA Images

Anne Hegerty

She's well known for her extraordinary mind thanks to years of mastering the art of quizzing with shows like The Chase on which she appears under the formidable guise of The Governess. She got her Asperger's diagnosis in 2005, and we learned more about what the condition means for her during her appearance on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! last year.

Anne Hegerty at the National Film Awards 2019 / Photo Credit: Brett Cove/Zuma Press/PA Images
Anne Hegerty at the National Film Awards 2019 / Photo Credit: Brett Cove/Zuma Press/PA Images

Dan Aykroyd

The Ghostbusters star admits that his Asperger's was never clinically diagnosed, though he suspected he had the condition based on some of his characteristics. He admits he realised he had "certain focuses, obsessions and vocalisations" that made him self-diagnose himself as an Aspie. As a child he also had Tourette Syndrome, though that was eventually treated through therapy.

Dan Aykroyd arrives at La Grande Epicerie in Paris in 2017 / Photo Credit: Wyters Alban/ABACA/PA Images
Dan Aykroyd arrives at La Grande Epicerie in Paris in 2017 / Photo Credit: Wyters Alban/ABACA/PA Images

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk