The odd behavior of Susan Boyle, Britain’s Got Talent sensation, is finally explained. She’s been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.
Throughout her life, Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle has carried the label “brain damaged”. Now, in an exclusive interview with the Observer, the 52-year-old has revealed that she was misdiagnosed after complications at birth and has actually had Asperger’s, a high-functioning form of autism.
The singer, who has sold millions of records around the world since coming in second on BGT in 2009, was misdiagnosed as a kid. “It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid,” she said. “I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understanding of what’s wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself.”
Boyle, who was called “Susie Simple” while growing up in her home town of Blackburn, West Lothian, was bullied as a child because she was “different” from her classmates. Now she can give that difference a name.
“I went to seek a diagnosis from a Scottish specialist,” she says. “Nobody told me to. I thought I had a more serious illness and couldn’t function properly.” Asperger’s often creates anxiety in sufferers because of their inability to deal with situations which others take in their stride, and Boyle admits to being nervous about the consultation. But she coped well with a series of simple tests that showed her intelligence levels were not connected to her condition:”I was told my IQ was above average.”
There have been reports of volatile behavior and outbursts from Susan. She’s cancelled appearances, exhibiting stage fright and a general inability to deal with stress. Now with the proper diagnosis, which she received a year ago, she can learn to cope.
She insists the new Asperger’s diagnosis neither defines nor confines her. “It will not make any difference to my life. It’s just a condition that I have to live with and work through.” She hopes, though, that it will lead to people showing greater empathy and understanding towards her and her condition.
“I think people will treat me better because they will have a much greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do.”
Recently, Susan filmed a cameo role in the holiday film, The Christmas Candle, while Fox Searchlight is interested in making a film of her life story with Oscar-winner Meryl Streep in the lead role.
Via The Guardian