Monday, December 09, 2013

Susan Boyle Diagnosed With Asperger Syndrome

The first thing I thought of when I heard that Susan Boyle announced she has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome was that everything kind of clicked into place and I wonder why no one has ever diagnosed her with it previously or thought of it before. Although Susan has known about the diagnosis for over a year she only made it public yesterday to the UK Guardian. In the same article she talks about dueting with Elvis which is kind of cool and will probably bring back the whole singing with dead people again.

As for Asperger's, Susan says, "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 greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do."

Asperger's is a high functioning form of autism which explains why Susan's social interaction and communication skills have seemingly always been a step behind. Whatever the reason, she is still amazing and I love her.

35 comments:

FSP said...

I'm sure she loves you too, Enties.

auntliddy said...

Word.

fancyscreenname said...

Everytime I ed her I just wanna rip off her frumpy outfit and re-dress her in a nice pant suit. Sheshould call Hillary Clinton. That betch KILLS the pant suit!

fancyscreenname said...

**see her

figgy said...

?? Well, yeah. This was obvious from the start of her fame. I could have told you that with minutes based on her behavior and way of speaking.

And I love her too, her original video of I Dreamed a Dream still gives me goosebumps.

Rach Around said...

No shit. Poor woman, if she'd had an earlier diagnosis she may have stood a better chance in life. Poor thing.

Susan said...

That's amazing that she wasn't diagnosed until so late in life.

S.joy said...

I like today's Enty!!! Nice post

Its just U said...

Not a big deal, but if it helps her understand herself better then that's a good thing.

aemish said...

Bless you, Susan Boyle! {{{{{hugs 4 u & Pebbles}}}}} :p

Kels said...

Welcome Susan! Female aspies often fly under the radar because we are socialized to not behave the way we would naturally, as it is seen as unladylike and confusing for normal people. I am glad she knows now, it was a real eye opener for me when I found at 21. I wish someone had found it sooner but it's better late than never. Good luck to Susan.

Kels said...

Poor thing? I think her life turned out to be pretty awesome! The world has recognized her talent, that is more than any Aspie could ever ask.

Pogue Mahone said...

I have Asperger's too and didn't find out until I was an adult but it sure explains alot and finding out was like finding the missing piece to a puzzle.

Lila said...

Although Aspergers was a diagnosis in the UK slightly earlier, it was not in the US until the mid-nineties. Susan's generation was not diagnosed with anything unless the issues were very severe. I'm glad the diagnosis helps her to understand herself better, and that Aspergers assists her strengths as well as her differences. We so often hear the tired line that autistics lack empathy. I do not see any lack of empathy in Susan (nor in any other aspies I know) but I do in the jerks who have made fun of her and bullied her all these years for being different - they are the people who lack empathy.

Lila said...

Pogue and Kels - there are far more of us aspie women than people realize, for sure!

MISCH said...

Duh !

Kels said...

Where does that come from? I find that I have too much empathy, to the point that I'm feeling things more deeply than the person who's actually effected by it! We don't lack empathy- we just refuse to be empathetic towards people who don't deserve it. NT people can't read people as well as autistic people can- even though they say we are bad at this- so I guess they don't see how a seemingly good person can be evil to us. We are so aware of right and wrong and have problems when people don't do what we think is right, which is where I think the idea of our lack of empathy comes from. Just my opinion though!

AKM said...

I think it's great that she got this diagnosis and can now learn more about it and get the right Tx that works for HER so that she can continue to have a great, fulfilling life. She seems like a beautiful, sensitive soul with amazing talent. Go Susan!

texas rose said...

Hard to hate on someone that has probably gone through a lot of shit in her life and finally come up positive - aspergers or not.

ms snarky said...

What a shock! - said absolutely no one.

Anothergrayhare said...

Saw her on Hoda and Kathie Lee last week and she is very obviously "odd" At one point she very deliberately put her hands down at her sides where she'd been told to, then put them back where she felt comfortable, then looked at the camera and waved (all during non-singing parts of the song). I felt sorry for her, like she was a circus animal we were watching perform. Sad.

And to those of you with Aspergers, please give me your impression of the following symptoms in my 17 year old niece:

-food issues (will only eat a very limited group of certain foods, has never had anything other than chocolate milk to drink -- this has culminated with weight problems
-picks herself to the point that she is now completely covered with scars and/or bandaids, has to wear long pants and sleeves all summer long to hide this
-never makes eye contact except with her parents and grandparents
-never speaks in a family group, although very articulate,
-finds something she likes, example, cartwheeling, and does it for hours -- no, days, until something else becomes an obsession
-delayed as a baby in sitting up, walking, etc.
- awkward, waddling type walk
- is diagnosed as having anxiety issues and OCD, the medication makes her sleep 12 hours a day
- musically gifted, but it is a huge production to get her to play in front of the family at Christmas, etc. even though she is the one who wants to do it
- very socially inept, no sense of humour, gets upset very easily, takes everything literally, very immature

Sorry for hijacking the comments here. I have said for years she needs further diagnosis but her parents feel she is just different (her Dad is very similar to this and his mother is a hoarder and has OCD). The poor girl is missing out on so much that I really feel sorry for her.
I think with proper treatment she could live a normal life, My in-laws think she'll never be able to leave home. I have 2 kids the same age so I see how different she is from them and all their friends. I may be totally off base, but your advice is appreciated.

Melissa said...

It sounds like she could have austism or asperger's. She needs to be properly diagnosed. Try a major medical or children's hospital.

Melissa said...

Autism

Lila said...

Sounds very much like Aspergers or high-functioning Autism. Given her parents' histories even more so. Anxiety / ocd issues are so common with women on the spectrum and they can be debilitating. There is no harm in getting her assessed. Sometimes the label is distressing to parents, but it is unfair to withhold that from the child. Many, many people find great comfort in the diagnosis so they can then move on towards supporting their superpowers (like your niece's musical gifts) and addressing the things that hold them back.

If you can talk to your niece directly about it, she may find a great online, supportive peer community at wrongplanet.net.

Anothergrayhare said...

Thank you Lila and Melissa. I can't talk to her parents, they simply are oblivious. I will gently suggest wrongplanet.net somehow over the holidays to her directly. I keep hoping she'll realize she's different and see out her own help when she's older, but they protect her so much she really has no idea.

car54 said...

I think Susan is lucky to have won BGT and to have the people taking care of her now that she has.
I think before, she was just considered someone who had some delays and lived a very limited life at home.
Her being discovered has given her a lot more life experiences, and I have a feeling Simon Cowell will always have someone taking care of her.
I saw her last week on Wendy Williams, and it is obvious that she is not comfortable performing live or speaking at an appearance but I thought Wendy was very gentle and supportive and that Susan did ok.
I hope this diagnosis helps her feel more comfortable with herself. I can't help liking her and rooting for her.

FS said...

Susan Boyle didn't win BGT, she came in 2nd. She was signed to a recording contract anyway. She appeared on Oprah with Adam Lambert, another performer who came in second.

MadLyb said...

I've found her a bit eccentric, but people many consider "odd" have rarely made me uncomfortable. If her diagnosis helps her understand herself a bit more, and helps others to be a little more tolerant, then good! The assholes who like to poke fun at her are the ones who have the major issues. In spite of everything, this woman has been an inspiration to a lot of people.

Northbynorthwest said...

I've always thought Susan was an Aspy, but I am one myself so maybe I have a radar for it.

Anothergrayhare- could be Asperbergers, but those symptoms you listed aren't all strictly definitive to autism. It could be many other illnesses, if she's got insurance you'd do best to get her a thorough mental health work up at a recommended local facility. She doesn't sound at all too severe to ever live a normal life. Quite the opposite, very treatable, and with intelligence and musical talent she could have a bright future if treated properly.

Also in my lay-opinion, but as an Aspy & relative of long-time mental illness patients: a lot of her symptoms sound like very extreme OCD. (The food, the picking, the cartwheeling, the special walk. The extremes in her social behavior could also be attributed to that as well, and not Autism.)

And since she has that diagnosis already, and her parents seem to have the same thing (hoarding is a subset of the compulsion in OCD), I'd say to ask doctors about the avenue further.

Different meds are out there and it takes time to find ones that work best, which mean ones that won't have her so debilitated by sleep. There's so many different forms of therapy, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that could help her too.

I understand how difficult it can be to get parents to act when they may be ill themselves, the best way to help her is to get informed and try to do the same with her parents.

I hope things work out for her!

EllenPo said...

As the mom of an 8 year old girl with high-functioning autism, I see SO many parents that are terrified of getting a diagnosis for their kids. It's too bad they fear the label because with the right help a child can thrive. My girl is proof.
And other posters are right, this wasn't really diagnosed when Susan was younger. Even when my daughter was diagnosed 5 years ago, a child was labeled either classic autism, aspergers, or pdd-nos (which is high functioning but doesn't fit all criteria). Now here in the US they are just using Autism Spectrum Disorder as the diagnosis for everyone.
I for one love that she and Darryl Hannah have been public with this. Anything to make these kids not feel more different than they already do.

Anothergrayhare said...

Thank you @northbynorthwest, I sincerely appreciate you and the others taking the time to provide feedback. Right now the mother is in hospital dealing with severe consequences of emergency surgery caused by obesity, the dad has his head stuck in the sand and my in-laws have their hands over their ears. I have been dismissed for 16 years with my gentle urging that it's more serious, but I am keeping all this information so if at some point, one of them thinks they may need to get my niece more help (gee, ya think?), I will have it at hand. The wrongplanet site is great. I'm going to make sure she sees that somehow. Thank you again.

auntliddy said...

I do like her and of course her voice is exquisite. I just thought she was shy, being from a small town and all. No harm in that. Hope dx helps her. I hate bullies and anyone who bullied her should make amends.

__-__=__ said...

Anothergrayhare - I agree with others above. Here's what I see: living in the hoarding environment could be cause for some of what you see. For instance, it sounds like she is being bitten by fleas. Who wouldn't scratch? And if she never drinks water that can be a huge factor in body development, especially considering how harmful milk can be - especially if not kept in a climate controlled environment. Put this person in a healthy environment with a healthy diet and maybe things would change. Good luck!

Anothergrayhare said...

@__-__=__, actually, she lives in a very clean house, the scratching started years ago with a few mosquito bites in the summer, which she picked to the point of scarring and has spread to her entire body. It's her grandmother who is the hoarder, she doesn't live there. The healthy diet would be a start, but she has 2 parents who cater to her every whim food wise, they just think it's cute that she only eats certain foods. Thanks for your good wishes.

a said...

@Kels- "NT people can't read people as well as autistic people can"

What are you basing this on? In my experiences with Aspies, I find the opposite true. I find nothing wrong with those on the autistic spectrum, but when you get down to insulting other people based on some perceived superiority for the way you both were born, that's just ridiculous.. neurotypical isn't an insult, either. The fact that you said that you reserve empathy only for the deserving is kind of telling- sounds snotty... you can still have empathy for others even if they've done things that are "wrong", in your all-knowing eyes. :-/