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Thursday 10 July 2014

'I'm more relaxed' - Susan Boyle's relief at discovering she has Asperger's Sydrome

Denise Calnan

Published 08/12/2013|08:45

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Undated handout photo issued by Save the Children of Susan Boyle who is supporting Save the Children's 2013 Christmas Jumper Day campaign, on Friday December 13, Save the Children is inviting everyone to Ômake the world better with a sweaterÕ by wearing a Christmas Jumper and donating £1 to raise money for its life saving work with children the world over. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday December 8, 2013. See PA story CHARITY Jumper. Photo credit should read: Save the Children/PA Wire
Susan Boyle who is supporting Save the Children's 2013 Christmas Jumper Day campaign, on Friday December 13

Susan Boyle has spoken of her relief at discovering she has Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.

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The Scottish singer, who shot to fame on TV reality show Britain’s Got Talent in 2009,  said she was diagnosed a year ago and now feels “relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself”.

The 52-year-old revealed she had been misdiagnosed after complications at birth and had always been labelled as ‘brain-damaged’.

In school, she had been given the cruel nickname ‘Susie Simple’.

“It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid,” she told the Observer.

“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.”

“I went to seek a diagnosis from a Scottish specialist," she continued.

“Nobody told me to. I thought I had a more serious illness and couldn't function properly.

“I was told my IQ was above average.”

Asperger’s affects social interaction and communication skills and sometimes hinders the ability to assess what’s appropriate behaviour in different social contexts.

The singer also suffered from depression and said she knows she needs support.

“I am not strong on my own,” she said.

“When I have the support of people around me I am fine. I have a great team.”

Fox Searchlight have recently approached the singer pitching a film of her life story with Oscar-winning Meryl Streep in the lead role.

Boyle’s success has also lead to a cameo role in the festive film ‘A Christmas Candle’.

And, although she has her correct diagnosis, Boyle insists it will not define 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 said.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Boyle has donned an ugly but well-loved Christmas jumper with tinsel to match in a bid to save children's lives.

The 52-year-old Home for Christmas star has backed Save the Children's plea to "make the world better with a sweater" by wearing the woolly seasonal fashion staple.

The charity is asking people to don a Christmas jumper on Friday December 13 and donate £1 or more to raise funds for its work across the globe.

Proceeds from their efforts will go towards preventing children from suffering deadly diseases.

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