LONDON (TheBlaze/AP) — Singer Susan Boyle says she has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.
Boyle, 52, told The Observer newspaper that she saw a specialist a year ago, and “it is a relief” to have the right label for her condition.
Boyle had learning difficulties as a child, which she was told were the result of brain damage from oxygen deprivation at birth.
Growing up, she was often teased for her behavior and called “Susie Simple,” but she’s always assumed her initial diagnosis wasn’t quite right.
“I have always known that I have had an unfair label put upon me,” she said in the interview, which was published Saturday. “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 classified as a developmental disorder characterized by poor social skills or social awkwardness; specifically, intense interests and repetitive behaviors. It is considered a mild form of autism.
Boyle, who is learning to manage Asperger’s syndrome, said she believes people will now treat her better, as they will now have a “greater understanding” of who she is and why she does certain things.
The church volunteer from a small Scottish town became a global sensation when she sang “I Dreamed a Dream” on TV contest “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009.
She has since sold millions of records and recently made her debut on the big screen in “The Christmas Candle,” a new holiday film from former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum’s EchoLight Studios.