Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dan Aykroyd: Asperger's and Tourette's Diagnoses

Dan Aykroyd - in Australia recently - has opened up this week about his struggles with Asperger's, as well as Tourette's syndrome.

In a new interview with the Daily Mail, the Canadian "Ghostbusters" star revealed he was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in the 1980s, when his wife convinced him to seek professional help.
"One of my symptoms included my obsession with ghosts and law enforcement — I carry around a police badge with me, for example," Aykroyd said. "I became obsessed by Hans Holzer, the greatest ghost hunter ever. That’s when the idea of my film 'Ghostbusters' was born."
And long before he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, Aykroyd was told he had Tourette's at age 12.
"I had physical tics, nervousness and made grunting noises and it affected how outgoing I was," he told the Daily Mail. "I had therapy which really worked, and by 14 my symptoms eased."
The 61 year old Canadian actor also happens to have heterochromia iridum - one green eye and one blue - and syndactyly, which means two of his toes on each foot are webbed.
Plans for a third "Ghostbusters" instalment could start shooting as early as 2014.
"We're going to really put it into ninth gear, in this third one," Aykroyd said earlier this year. "It's going to be very, very exciting."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Susan Boyle: Diagnosed with Asperger's

Susan Boyle - the Scottish singer who shot to fame on the TV show 'Britain's Got Talent' in 2009 - has revealed she has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.

Susan told Britain's Observer newspaper she was diagnosed a year ago and told of her relief after years of bullying for her learning difficulties.

The now 52-year-old says: "It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid."

She adds: "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."

Susan's rendition of 'I Dreamed A Dream', from the musical 'Les Miserables' went viral - it has garnered nearly 140 million views on YouTube. She has since recorded four - yes, FOUR! - hit albums.

Boyle's quirky sense of humour and golden voice won her legions of fans, but her rapid rise to fame and the huge press attention drove her close to breakdown.

More about Asperger's: it affects communication and social interaction. Sufferers have difficulty picking up on social cues and gauging appropriate behaviour.

Susan was, sadly, bullied throughout her school years and nicknamed "Susie Simple" by her classmates.

Susan has recently had tests which have revealed she has above-average intelligence, she tells the Observer.

"I was told my IQ was above average," she said.

Susan says her Asperger's diagnosis would not make any difference to her life: "It's just a condition that I have to live with and work through".

"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."

Currently, Fox Searchlight is reportedly interested in making a film of Susan Boyle's life.