In 2018 we are seeing more adults get diagnosed with autism. This is likely due to increased autism awareness and improved access to diagnosis for adults. Below I will list 10 famous people with autism and how many people have autism in the UK.
Who is Autistic?
According to the National Autistic Society 700,000 people are on the autistic spectrum in the UK. Whilst there is no official count of people with autism this is a well-recognised figure and if anything is likely to be conservative. This figure represents more than 1% of the population in the UK, to give you some context 2% of the population aged 16 and over identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (ONS 2016).
Close to 50% of people with autism have a learning disability and around a third of people with learning disabilities have autism.
10 Famous People with Autism:
1 -Chris Packham British TV presenter of BBC’s Springwatch. Chris has a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome and talks about living with Asperger’s in the documentary Asperger’s and Me. Chris is also an ambassador for the National Autistic Society.
2 – Sir Anthony Hopkins CBE, award winning Welsh actor best known for his role as Hannibal Lector in The Silence of the lambs. In 2017 he revealed his Asperger’s diagnosis.
3 – Temple Grandin an American professor of Animal Science and Author. Grandin has published several books about living with autism including Thinking in Pictures and The Autistic Brain.
4 – Dan Ackroyd an American actor and comedian who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and Tourette syndrome as a child. Ackroyd is best known for his acting roles as Ray Stantz in Ghostbusters and as Elwood Blues in the Blues Brothers.
5 – Daryl Hannah an American actress diagnosed with autism as a child. Hannah is famous for roles in Blade Runner, Roxanne and Kill Bill.
6 – Susan Boyle Scottish singer who came second on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. Boyle has a diagnosis of Asperger’s.
7 – Courtney Love American singer songwriter who formed the band Hole in 1989, and married Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain in 1992.
8 – Jessica Applegate British Paralympic swimmer who won gold in the S14 200m at the 2012 Summer Paralympics.
9 – Niall Aslam contestant on Love Island in 2018, left the show and revealed his autism diagnosis.
10 – Anne Hegerty English television quiz personality from The Chase. Hegerty is diagnosed with Asperger’s.
There is speculation that historical figures such as Alan Turing, Mozart, Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton had autism. They displayed many typical traits of autism or Asperger’s so many people believe they may have got a diagnosis had they been alive today.
If you want to learn more about autism see my post on what is autism?