Susan Boyle Reveals Asperger's Syndrome Diagnosis

Susan Boyle Reveals Asperger's Syndrome Diagnosis

Singer Susan Boyle, who rocketed to international fame with her jaw-dropping performance in 2009 on Britian's Got Talent, is revealing that she has Asperger's syndrome—a high-functioning form of autism.    

In an interview with The Observer newspaper, she says a specialist told her a year ago that she has Asperger's.

"It's just a condition that I have to live with and work through," said Boyle.

The 52-year-old Boyle recently sang a Christmas duet with a recording of Elvis in a TV special.  She says she had learning difficulties as a child and other kids mocked her as "Susie Simple."

"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," said Boyle.

ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser, author of the best-selling book Tell Me The Truth, Doctor, told INSIDE EDITION, "Asperger's is a form of austism. You think about Asperger's in someone who may be having trouble in social relationships, who may be having trouble connecting with other people."

Watch More Of Dr. Besser's Interview

The contrast between Boyle's soaring voice and her shy manner on shows like Dancing with the Stars has won her legions of fans, but she has occasionally struggled with the pressures of fame.

"There's something about the way she interacts with people when she's being interviewed that's a little odd, a little different," noted Dr. Besser.

She's not the first celebrity with Asperger's. Comedian Dan Aykroyd has it. So does actress Daryl Hannah of Splash fame who spoke about hers in a TV interview just a few weeks ago.

"I was more out there somewhere. I was off in a dream world all of the time," said Hannah.

Susan Boyle is actually relieved to find out she has Asperger's, saying, "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."