Scottish singer Susan Boyle recently confirmed that she has a form of autism known as Asperger's syndrome, a diagnosis she says came as a relief after years of believing she had brain damage.
Asperger's syndrome is a form of autism characterized by difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication. Patients also show restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, physical clumsiness and peculiar use of language.
52-year-old Boyle told the British Observer newspaper she had sought help from a Scottish specialist a year ago believing her childhood diagnosis of brain damage was incorrect.
Boyle said she had been teased throughout her life for her unusual behavior and was called "Susie Simple" by children in her hometown.
"I have always known that I have had an unfair label put upon me," Boyle said. "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."
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"I made a promise to my mum that I would do something with my life," continued Boyle."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."
She had kept secret for the past year that she was diagnosed with Asperger's, a mild form of autism marked by social awkwardness.
Boyle shot to international fame in 2009 after appearing on the TV show "Britain's Got Talent" and performing a flawless rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Miserables." She has since sold more than 14 million records around the world and recently released her fourth album, Home for Christmas. She will be making her big-screen debut in holiday movie The Christmas Candle.