Susan Boyle has Asperger's syndrome

By Kirstin Buick
09 December 2013

Susan Boyle has revealed that she has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. The 52-year-old singer, who shot to fame on Britain's Got Talent in 2009, is relieved to finally have the right label for her condition. PLUS Signs and symptoms of Asperger's.

Susan Boyle has revealed that she has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. The 52-year-old singer, who shot to fame on Britain's Got Talent in 2009, is relieved to finally have the right label for her condition.

Click possible signs and symptoms of Asperger’s

She told The Observer newspaper: "I have always known that I have had an unfair label put upon me. Now I have a clearer understanding of what's wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself."

The Scottish singer, who previously sought treatment for exhaustion as she struggled to cope with the pressures of fame, hopes that people now have a better understanding of the struggles she experiences.

She added, "I would say I have relationship difficulties, communicative difficulties, which lead to a lot of frustration. If people were a bit more patient, that would help."

With her recent diagnosis, having people aware of her condition might help with their patience toward the singer. Susan went on to say: "Asperger’s doesn't define me. It's a condition that I have to live with and work through, but I feel more relaxed about myself. People will have a much greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do."

In the interview with The Observer Susan also explained that she thinks her mum Bridget, who died just before she found success, is by her side every day. She explained: "Spiritually, she's with me all the time. She has had a word with someone upstairs, because I wouldn't have had this otherwise. There has been some sort of intervention in some way. I do feel that."

"I felt as if the cord had been broken emotionally and I didn't know what to do," she added. "My weight went down and my house was a bit of a mess. I had to get social services in. I couldn't cope at all."

The I Dreamed A Dream hitmaker also lost her brother and her sister. Her sister, Kathleen whom she was particularly close to, passed away 13 years ago. Susan has been upfront by admitting that she still finds it hard to cope because she doesn't have the "security" of family.

Possible signs and symptoms of Asperger’s:

  • While autism is characterised by a severe withdrawal from the rest of the world, people with Asperger’s syndrome find themselves isolated because of their poor social skills and narrow interests.
  • Socially awkward, take figures of speech literally or unable to understand conventional social rules
  • A perceived lack of empathy
  • Displaying unusual nonverbal communication, such as lack of eye contact, few facial expressions, or awkward body postures and gestures
  • Clumsy and ill-coordinated motor movements and odd postures
  • Speaking in a voice that is monotonous, rigid or unusually fast
  • Many children with Asperger’s sundrome are exceptionally talented or skilled in a particular area, such as music or math

Asperger’s syndrome can’t be cured but treatment like special education, occupational therapy and social skills therapies may improve functioning.

- Suzaan Hauman

Sources: Bang Showbiz, Mayoclinic.com, Health24, WebMD

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