Asperger expert praises Susan Boyle’s decision to speak out

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen believes singer's announcement will help understanding of Asperger Syndrome

Asperger expert praises Susan Boyle’s decision to speak out
09 December 2013

The director of Cambridge's pioneering autism clinical centre has praised Susan Boyle's decision to reveal she has Asperger Syndrome

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen said the Scottish singer's announcement will help to improve understanding of the condition and has called for more specialist clinics to be set up across the country.

In a newspaper interview at the weekend, Ms Boyle told of her relief at the diagnosis after spending years believing she had suffered slight brain damage at birth.

Professor Baron-Cohen (pictured) said: "I think it is brave of Susan Boyle to speak out like this, and I am sure her talking about the fact she has Asperger Syndrome will lead to greater awareness of the condition.

"It should provide inspiration and hope to others who also have a similar diagnosis that they can lead successful and fulfilling lives."

Professor Baron-Cohen is director of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust's Cambridge Lifespan Asperger Syndrome Service
(CLASS) clinic.

The clinic has been providing specialist diagnostic assessments for adults who may have Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism for over 10 years.

The clinic moved to a new home - the Chitra Sethia Autism Centre - at CPFT's Fulbourn Hospital site in September where it was opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex.

The move was made possible after the Autism Research Trust (ART) and the National Autistic Society (NAS) received a grant from the N Sethia Foundation to redevelop the building at Fulbourn Hospital. The centre develops and supports opportunities for people locally, as well as nationally, who have autism, including family support sessions, group meetings and activities.

Professor Baron-Cohen, who is also a trustee of ART, said: "I am really proud of the achievements of the CLASS clinic in Cambridge and the partnership CPFT has with ART and NAS in our great new centre.

"The centre provides a vital resource for adults with an autism spectrum condition and their families.

"By being closely linked to autism research it also provides evidence-based standards of excellence in clinical practice.

"But there needs to be more clinics like it across the country so even more people can receive the help and support they need."

Around one in 100 people in the UK have autism – this equates to just over 8,000 people in Cambridgeshire. Referrals to the CLASS clinic must come from a GP or an NHS clinician.

Ends

Andy Burrows
Communications Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 726767
 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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