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Susan Boyle tells British paper she has Asperger's

By Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 3:03 PM EST, Mon December 9, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The singer says she's relieved, knowing she had been diagnosed incorrectly as a child
  • She had been told she had brain damage, but last year learned she had Asperger's
  • It is a form of autism that is characterized by poor social skills, focused interests
  • The 52-year-old says she hopes people will treat her better

(CNN) -- Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle says she was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome last year, according to a report in Sunday's editions of The Observer newspaper.

The singer told The Observer that she went to a specialist in Scotland because she thought she had a more serious condition than the diagnosis she had received when she was a child.

"I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label," she said. "Now I have a clearer understanding of what's wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself."

With autism, no longer invisible

Boyle became famous overnight after her audition for "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009 amazed people around the world who saw it on the show and on the Internet,

Asperger's syndrome, a developmental disorder that is a form of autism, is characterized by poor social skills, physical clumsiness, and narrowly focused interests, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

I have Asperger's; I am just like you

Boyle, 52, said she hoped revealing her Asperger's diagnosis will lead people to understand and treat her better. She said it was important for her to have a support team.

"I am not strong on my own. When I have the support of people around me I am fine," she said.

Boyle recently released her fifth studio album, a collection of Christmas recordings. Her debut album, "I Dreamed a Dream," sold more than 8 million copies around the world, making it the most popular album of 2009.

Boyle would 'love to adopt' Justin Bieber?

Susan Boyle talks bullying

I hired someone with Asperger's -- now what?

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