Beyonce says she was slow to speak and lived a life of silence and solitude as a "shy" child.
The studio singer made the revelation in a new Harper's Bazaar cover interview to coincide with her 40th birthday next month.
Beyonce confided that the first decade of her life was "dedicated to dreaming", because she was an introverted child who was slow to speak.
"I didn't speak very much as a child," the "Halo" singer tells Harper's Bazaar.
"I spent a lot of time in my head building my imagination. I am now grateful for those shy years of silence. Being shy taught me empathy and gave me the ability to connect and relate to people."
Children on the autism spectrum usually begin speaking at an older age than their peers.
High-functioning people with autism spectrum disorder may seem awkward or standoffish. They have difficulty holding a conversation or understanding body language and facial expressions when talking with others.
Beyonce says she is no longer shy, but she had to learn to overcome her unfriendly demeanor if she wanted to win competitions as a child.
"I was competing in dance and singing competitions at age seven. When I was on the stage, I felt safe. I was often the only black girl, and it was then that I started to realize I had to dance and sing twice as hard. I had to have stage presence, wit, and charm if I wanted to win."
People with high-functioning autism are typically diagnosed as adults. Famous people who are on the spectrum include Elon Musk, and actors Wentworth Miller and Dan Aykroyd. Read more about autism spectrum disorder here.
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