This may explain why Boyle entered the Priory clinic after her BGT breakthrough, unable to cope with her fame and, presumably, the accompanying pressure to appear ‘normal’.
According to a spokesperson for the NAS, a woman with AS may struggle to make female friends, because of the ‘complex way that women build friendships – the subtlety and nuance’ (as compared with more straightforward men).
She also finds the sensory side of things difficult.
To cope, she makes lists, ‘like others might make a shopping list’, reminding herself to hold her partner’s hand ‘for five minutes every day’ and to hug him ‘three times a day’.
Who knows if any of these men actually have Asperger’s – but in the face of behaviour where certain emotional synapses seem not to have quite ‘connected’, it’s the word on everyone’s lips.
But the good news is that, by understanding the way an AS man’s brain is wired and making the most of his qualities, it is possible to bring out the best in him – and have a fulfilling, or certainly less frustrating, relationship.
Men with (suspected) Asperger’s are everywhere – in the highest offices of power and at the top of the most influential companies.
For those not familiar with AS, it is a mild autistic spectrum disorder, where those afflicted can lead ‘normal’ lives, but behave in a way that is rigid and lacking in sensitivity, living up to male stereotyping – in spades.
It’s no surprise then that men account for 90 per cent of AS diagnoses.