Anthony Hopkins and Asperger's Condition

Posted on July 26, 2017

The history of the term Asperger's Syndrome is rather complicated. The condition now popularly recognized as autism was first proposed by Leo Kanner in 1943. A year later, an Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger described a somewhat similar condition which came to be called Asperger’s Syndrome. However, Hans was in wartime Germany and the condition bearing his name only became popularized in the early 80s mainly due to the publication of a paper by Lorna Wing (1981).

It was not until 1994 that "Asperger’s Disorder" was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition. It is only in the past 20-30 years that the diagnosis of Asperger’s condition has been popularly recognized.

Fortunately, someone has come out about having Asperger’s condition recently and that is Sir Anthony Hopkins. Being 80 this year, he is uniquely qualified to share what it was like to grow up living a life with no idea of what was causing him distress.

Anthony Hopkins was born in 1937 in Port Talbot, a grim South Wales steel town. His school days were unproductive; he would rather immerse himself in art, such as painting and drawing, or playing the piano, than attend to his studies.

Franz Lidz quoted in her interview with Hopkins: "I was a poor learner, which left me open to ridicule and gave me an inferiority complex. I grew up absolutely convinced I was stupid." At boarding school, the headmaster told him he was "hopeless" and he developed a "sheer contempt for authority."

Fessier received similar quotes in his interview: “I was fairly stupid in school. Maybe I had dyslexia. I couldn't understand what everybody was talking about. I was an unruly little kid. I didn't know what I was doing most of the time. They put me in the boarding school because they didn’t know what else to do with me. So, my school history was poor and I think that breeds in any child a lot of anger and loneliness.”

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Category(s):Asperger's Syndrome

Source material from Scott Psychological Centre


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