Susan Boyle, 52, revealed that she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and has an above average IQ, according to The Associated Press. Boyle reportedly saw a specialist last year who diagnosed her based on a series of tests. She said that she’s relieved at the diagnosis because she always felt like she was different. “I have always known that I have had an unfair label put upon me,” Boyle said. "Now I have a clearer understanding of what’s wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself.”
Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder that impacts how a person socializes and communicates with others. According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition is one of many autistic spectrum disorders. Most people are diagnosed with the disorder as a child. Symptoms of Asperger’s include propensity to engage in one-sided conversations, lack of facial expression, intense obsession with one or two subjects, and having a lower capacity to understand and empathize with others.
Boyle said she was previously told that she had brain damage. The 2009 Britain’s Got Talent winner says she struggled in school. Boyle gained notoriety on the show because her full voice did not match her quiet, humble demeanor. The singer revealed that she had relationship and communication difficulties that made her very frustrated. But she hopes that revealing her diagnosis will help people be more patient with her when she gets into those frustrating interactions.
"I am not strong on my own. When I have the support of people around me I am fine," said Boyle, according to CNN. "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."