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Susan Boyle’s powerful, graceful Asperger’s statement

If you received a diagnosis for a disorder that's often stigmatized and misunderstood, a condition that's perpetually challenging and isolating, how would you feel? What would be your response, learning you have Asperger's? For Susan Boyle, the answer is, "relieved and relaxed."

The 52 year-old Scottish singer, who set the bar for the term "overnight success" in 2009 with a riveting performance of "I Dreamed a Dream" on "Britain's Got Talent," has spent the past four and a half years enjoying a level of success that few talent competition runners-up ever dream of. She's sold millions of albums, been nominated for two Grammy Awards, written an autobiography and become the subject of a hit musical. But she's also very publicly grappled with the pressures of instant stardom -- there has been a hospitalization for "exhaustion," a few painful televised bouts of stage fright, and the toll of seemingly endless commentary on her "frumpy" and "slow" demeanor. When you factor in all that a small-town woman whose prior show business history consisted of singing in the church choir has experienced in the past four and a half years, maybe then it's easier to understand why Boyle took her diagnosis with such apparent grace.

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