Sia shares autism spectrum diagnosis and inspires self-acceptance

Sia bravely reveals her autism spectrum diagnosis, embracing her true self and inspiring others on the path to self-acceptance.

In a recent episode of Rob Has a Podcast, the renowned singer Sia revealed that she is on the autism spectrum. This admission comes years after she faced backlash for casting neurotypical actor Maddie Ziegler as an autistic teenager in her directorial film debut, Music.

Sia’s disclosure shed light on her personal journey of self-discovery and acceptance. During the podcast, Sia mentioned her autism spectrum diagnosis and her ongoing recovery process.


She expressed her gratitude towards Carolyn Wiger, a finalist from Survivor season 44, for being authentic and unafraid of being perceived as different. Sia emphasized the importance of embracing one’s true self and not living in secrecy or shame.

She described the liberating experience of sharing one’s deepest secrets with others, which allows for genuine connection and self-acceptance.

Sia reflected on her past, stating that she spent much of her life wearing a metaphorical “human suit” to fit in with societal expectations. However, it was only in the past two years that she finally felt she could be her authentic self.

The controversy surrounding Sia’s film, Music, arose in 2020 when the trailer was released. The movie follows the story of Zu, played by Kate Hudson, who becomes the guardian of her autistic half-sister Music, portrayed by Maddie Ziegler.

sia film music

Criticism from the National Autistic Society and other members of the autism community accused Sia of ableism and argued that an autistic actor should have been cast for the role.

Initially, Sia defended her decision, stating that the story was inspired by her neuroatypical friend’s experiences. She claimed that he found it too stressful to be non-verbal, and the movie was made with love for him and his mother.

Sia also highlighted that she cast 13 neuroatypical individuals in the film. However, scenes depicting the use of restraints on Ziegler’s character further fueled the controversy. Sia eventually apologized and pledged to remove those scenes from future versions of the film.

The intense scrutiny surrounding the film took a toll on Sia’s mental health, leading to a relapse and a stay in rehab. In an interview with The New York Times, she revealed her struggle with suicidal thoughts and credited comedian Kathy Griffin with helping her through the challenging period.

Griffin’s support ultimately saved Sia’s life, as she gratefully acknowledged.

Kate Hudson, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in Music, also addressed the criticisms aimed at the film.

While appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2021, she acknowledged the importance of discussing representation and the concerns raised by those who felt excluded.

Hudson expressed her belief that the film showcased love and sensitivity but acknowledged the ongoing need for a dialogue about neurotypical actors portraying neurodivergent characters. She encouraged engaging in these conversations with experts who could contribute meaningfully to the discussion.

Sia’s revelation about being on the autism spectrum offers a deeper understanding of her journey and her commitment to self-discovery.

It serves as an opportunity to continue the important dialogue about representation in the entertainment industry and the need for authentic portrayals of neurodivergent characters.

By sharing her story, Sia hopes to inspire others to embrace their true selves and foster a more inclusive and understanding society.