On "Rob Has a Podcast," Sia told Survivor's Carolyn Wiger she's on the autism spectrum.
The musician said she's struggled to process both positive and negative experiences.
Other subtle signs of autism spectrum disorder can include trouble socializing and "masking."
The nine-time Emmy award nominee appeared on the show, which covers reality TV, to congratulate contestant Carolyn Wiger, who was second runner-up in Survivor season 44. Wiger is a drug counselor who has ADHD and is in recovery for addiction.
Sia, who's previously been open about her sobriety, told Wiger she could relate to her. "I'm on the spectrum, and I'm in recovery or whatever — there's a lot of things," the "Chandelier" singer said on the podcast.
Sia, 47, implied she relatively recently learned about her autism spectrum diagnosis. "For 45 years, I was like … 'I've got to go put my human suit on,'" she said. "And only in the last two years have I become fully, fully myself."
In 2021, the artist received backlash for her casting of Maddie Ziegler, who is neurotypical, as a non-verbal girl with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the film "Music," which Sia directed and co-wrote. Sia said the controversy drove her to become suicidal and enter rehab. While she said she consulted with people with ASD in the wake of the controversy, she did not explain that she is also autistic.
She may not have known. ASD can be difficult to diagnose, especially in women. Here are some of the more subtle signs.
Signs of autism are often overlooked in women and girls
ASD can affect how people think, communicate, and interact with the world, according to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
While it's estimated that about 2% of the population is autistic, it's most frequently diagnosed in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But ASD can be easily overlooked since the signs fall on a spectrum, and some signs can be subtle. Women and girls may also go undiagnosed for longer, since most research is conducted on boys and men, Insider's Jake Johnson previously reported.
For example, Johnson talked to a college student, Sam Antekeier, who said her trouble socializing, meltdowns, and depression were treated as separate issues for years, although they all can be related to ASD.
ADHD-like behaviors and "masking," or mimicking others' social behaviors, can also be less-recognizable signs of ASD, Johnson reported.
Another subtle sign of autism may include difficulty processing emotion. On the podcast Sia said she has struggled to process life's highs and lows. "It's totally overwhelming, in the same ways as processing negative things, positive things are also really challenging to emotionally regulate," the singer-songwriter said.
According to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, other subtle signs may include being extra sensitive to bright lights or loud sounds, feeling a strong sense of importance about routines, not being able to control how loud your voice is, and feeling uncomfortable with eye contact. It's important to note that not all autistic people will have these symptoms, the website notes.
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