In a surprising revelation, the multi-talented singer-songwriter Sia, known for hits like “Chandelier” and “Cheap Thrills,” has disclosed that she has been diagnosed with autism. Speaking on the podcast Rob Has A Podcast, which delves into the world of the reality show Survivor, the star expressed a sense of relief that came with her diagnosis. Sia shared, “For 45 years, I felt like I had to put on my human suit, and only in the last two years have I truly embraced myself.”

Sia, whose real name is Sia Furler, gained prominence as a musician but ventured into filmmaking in 2021 with her movie Music. The musical drama revolves around a woman who becomes the sole caregiver for her non-verbal autistic half-sister. However, the film faced substantial backlash for casting the neurotypical actress Maddie Ziegler, who had previously appeared in Sia’s music videos, in the lead role. One scene, featuring a controversial face-down prone restraint during an overstimulation episode, particularly sparked anger due to the potential physical harm and suffocation risks it portrayed.

Initially, Sia defended the film, stating that it was based on the experiences of a “neuro-atypical friend.” However, following the film’s nomination for two Golden Globe Awards in 2021, she issued apologies on Twitter before deleting her account. Sia acknowledged her mistake, vowing to remove the restraint scenes from future prints and admitting her research was insufficient. Additionally, she pledged to include a warning card with the film, emphasizing that it did not endorse or recommend the use of restraints on autistic individuals.

During that time, Sia did not mention her own neurodivergence. However, in her recent podcast appearance, she candidly revealed, “I’m on the spectrum, and I’m in recovery – there’s a lot of things.” The 47-year-old joined the podcast to congratulate Carolyn Wiger, a beloved contestant who finished as a runner-up in the 44th series of Survivor. Sia had previously expressed her admiration for Wiger and generously offered her $100,000 (£80,900) to assist with her financial struggles.

Wiger’s unfiltered and quirky personality on Survivor resonated with many fans, leading some to wonder if she was on the autism spectrum. Wiger clarified that she has ADHD and is in recovery from addiction but is not on the spectrum. During the podcast, Sia praised Wiger for embracing her unique qualities, stating, “The kook in me recognizes the kook in you.” This behavior aligns with the concept of autistic masking, where individuals learn and practice behaviors to fit in with non-autistic people.

Drawing from her own experiences with addiction and recovery, Sia expressed the importance of being true to oneself. She emphasized that by sharing our deepest secrets in a room full of strangers and finding acceptance and laughter, we can shed shame and start operating as genuine human beings. Sia’s personal journey serves as an inspiration for embracing neurodiversity and living authentically, while also shedding light on the challenges faced by individuals on the autism spectrum.