Susan Boyle stated to the British paper that she hopes her Asperger's diagnoses helps people understand her challenges better. Asperger's is a form of high functioning autism, although here in the U.S. it is now just considered high functioning autism according to the new DSM IV published earlier this year. Boyle said she was actually diagnosed about a year ago and it helped her understand the way she is much better as well.
Previously Boyle was told she was born with brain damage due to a lack of oxygen during birth, and has always felt it was an unfair label. Asperger's, or high functioning autism, creates poor social skills, physical clumsiness, and narrowly focused interests just to name a few challenges. Boyle hopes that her diagnoses will bring people to understand and treat her better.
In reality it is not all that easy when one is diagnosed as an adult on the autism spectrum. Many people will give a general, 'aha! moment,' but there are still plenty of others out there that will continue to give strive to those on the spectrum sadly. It can be a multitude of things, such as not fully understanding how different each case is, to not fully understanding what an ASD diagnoses entails.
There is actually a recent list of things that have been published when those with an ASD disorder have to deal with what they call, 'Difficult People.' It can be an extreme challenge to deal with such people, especially when these 'difficult people' have trouble noticing that their own behavior can cause symptoms of ASD disorders to become worse. One such example would be in dealing with social decisions. If people do not understand that ASD people need time to process problems or situations, it will generally lead to a severe meltdown that will continue to get worse if those around them keep taunting and making fun of the person having difficulties. Many times these 'difficult people' just have a lack of education, or even a refusal to understand what is needed in communicating with someone with this disability.
Refusing to actually understand that this is a true and very difficult disability to live with will only make life much more unbearable to the ASD person. A person cannot just compare another with similar disabilities, or just assume they can just learn to be like everyone else. A person with an ASD brain is wired much more differently than others. Just trying to pretend to be like other so called 'normal' people is exhausting and very stressful to say the least.
So, in regards to Ms. Boyle, best of wishes in her adventures of getting to know herself better. Hopefully she finds a good support group that will also help her find her true way in life as well. There is a great support group here in St. Cloud that meets every Thursday night at 7pm at the local library. These folks are very understanding and supportive, both on and off the ASD spectrum. The group is called, 'The Support Group For Adults with Aspergers/High Functioning Aitism." Anyone is welcome to attend and learn more about this disability and what life is really like for those on the spectrum.
By Tina Elliott