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Blindboy Boatclub reveals autism diagnosis on his podcast

For faithful listeners in Ireland and in ever-increasing numbers, around the world, the Blindboy Podcast has become part of their weekly ritual, with new episodes every Wednesday morning providing a relaxed and grounding listening experience.

Veering anywhere from lively, entertaining interviews, to mental-health check-ins, to his infamous ‘hot-takes’ – deep dives on subjects of social and cultural importance, as well as the surreal stories that can emerge from their history.

This morning’s episode, ‘Intrapersonally Speaking’, released via Acast and other podcasting platforms, was a deeply personal one, as the musician and writer revealed his recent diagnosis of autism.

Discussing storytelling as a device to address mental health, and the power of language on peoples’ internal dialogue, he segued into making the disclosure.

“If you’ve been listening to this podcast for the last few weeks, you’ll know that I am currently undergoing an assessment for autism. I have lots of neurodivergent listeners, and they’ve flagged with me that certain aspects of how I speak about things, or relate to the world, reminds them of their own autism.

“I got my diagnosis at the weekend, and I am, in fact, autistic, which is quite a lot to take on board, to be honest.”

Blindboy at It Takes A Village 2021. Pic: Karen M. Edwards

He went on to address the process of diagnosis, and his immediate feelings upon receiving confirmation of his diagnosis.

“The thing with diagnosis is that the irrational part of my brain is like, ‘I’m after ‘getting’ autism’, when, in fact, what’s happened is, someone has just given me a new word to describe how I’ve been my whole life.

“I’ve been autistic my whole life, since I was born, I’m just finding it out now in my 30s. It’s very challenging to receive new information like that.”

Over the following 90 minutes, the writer went on to explore his feelings on how an autism diagnosis stands to change one’s established sense of self, and the process of revisiting one’s own past.

He addressed the topic in two parts – his childhood, formative experiences and education, where he discussed how his interests manifested themselves in a love of music and science, but communication barriers presented challenges in the educational and social environment; and his adult life, where finding his own space in art, music and the podcast helped him in his personal life, and how his own coping mechanisms developed into an interest and understanding of psychology.

He also alluded to his own learning process on the topic, and resolved to invite autism experts onto the show in due course, “from a position of best practice, professionalism and compassion, the same degree of safety I put in place when I have someone come on and discusses mental illness, mental health.”

  • The Blindboy Podcast is available on Acasttarget=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”> and other streaming services. Support the podcast by donating the price of a pint monthly at Blindboy’s Patreon.

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