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Sia Reveals Autism Diagnosis Years After Infamous Music Casting Controversy

Sia Reveals Late-Life Autism Diagnosis Years After Infamous Music Casting Controversy

Sia has been working through the challenges and opportunities of a late-life autism diagnosis.

The pop star, who is 47 years old, revealed on a podcast late last week that she was diagnosed with the developmental disorder within the last two years. Of course, the Australian-born singer has come under fire in recent years from the autism community over what were seen as problematic casting choices for her move Music. But now, it appears there is more to the story.

Related: Bachelor Nation’s Demi Burnett Reveals Autism Diagnosis Following Psychological Test

As Perezcious readers may already recall, Sia popped up for an interview on Rob Has A Podcast late last week. During that chat, the Chandelier singer gifted Survivor runner-up Carolyn Wiger with a cash prize and proclaimed the 36-year-old reality TV star to be one of her favorite contestants of all time.

But later, the conversation went far deeper than just that feel-good story. While commending Wiger for being unapologetically herself on the latest season of Jeff Probst‘s hit television series, the Grammy nominee said:

“Nobody can ever know and love you when you’re filled with secrets and … living in shame. And when we finally sit in a room full of strangers and tell them our deepest, darkest, most shameful secrets, and everybody laughs along with us, and we don’t feel like pieces of trash for the first time in our lives, and we feel seen for the first time in our lives for who we actually are, then we can start going out into the world and just operating as humans and human beings with hearts and not pretending to be anything.”

That’s a very deep comment for what was supposed to be a feel-good reveal of a life-changing monetary donation to Wiger.

And it came with a follow-up, too. Amid that deep and honest explanation, Sia revealed she is both fully sober after recent rehab work, and on the autism spectrum. She stated:

“I’m on the spectrum, and I’m in recovery and whatever — there are a lot of things.”

While she didn’t disclose when she was first diagnosed with autism, it’s clear the move came late in life. The star acknowledged the changes that have come about for her in (roughly) the last two years:

“For 45 years, I was like … ‘I’ve got to go put my human suit on.’ And only in the last two years have I become fully, fully myself.”


Good for her! We are happy things seem to be falling into place in that regard.

Related: Raquel Leviss Says She ‘Can Relate’ To Bryiana Dyrdek’s Autism Diagnosis — Huh??

Of course, as you may already be thinking, this story isn’t merely notable because of Sia’s diagnosis. The context of this reveal matters, too. Two years ago, the Unstoppable singer chose to cast actress Maddie Ziegler — who is neurotypical — to play a non-verbal autistic girl in Music. The autistic community on Twitter and other online forums called out Sia for what they felt was ableist casting.

At first, the star responded by claiming that her “heart has always been in the right place,” and asked critics to “watch my film before you judge it.” But after the backlash didn’t subside, Sia issued an apology to the autism community. She also eventually added this title card which played at the beginning of the musical drama:

Music in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people. There are autistic occupational therapists that specialize in sensory processing who can be consulted to explain safe ways to provide proprioceptive, deep-pressure feedback to help with meltdown safety.”

The backlash was significant and long-lasting, though. So much so that last year, the Cheap Thrills singer shockingly revealed the controversy had made her suicidal and triggered a relapse.

Related: Teen With Autism Dies After Being Restrained For OVER AN HOUR — School Staff Indicted

That eventually turned into a stint in rehab to get back on track after the difficult time. And now, it would seem things are looking brighter and healthier for the Aussie sensation — and she also may have more answers on her own personal life amid this late diagnosis.

Thoughts, Perezcious readers?

[Image via Nicky Nelson/WENN]

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May 30, 2023 09:14am PDT