Actress Daryl Hannah Discusses Asperger’s Syndrome on Dan Rather’s ‘The Big Interview’

Actress Daryl Hannah Discusses Asperger’s Syndrome on Dan Rather’s ‘The Big Interview’

Broad-Ranging Interview To Appear on AXS TV Monday, October 7 At 8 P.M. ET, 5 P.M. PT

LOS ANGELES – Oct. 4, 2013 – Acclaimed actress Daryl Hannah speaks out about her battles with Asperger’s Syndrome on Dan Rather’s THE BIG INTERVIEW Monday, Oct. 7 at 8-9 p.m. ET/5-6 p.m. PT.

Also, during the hour, Rather speaks with singer/songwriter Linda Ronstadt, who discusses her career and her challenges from Parkinson’s Disease.

Hannah, in a very compelling interview, explains the early signs of the disease and how her family dealt with it.

Hannah: “(My mother) took me out of school. She kind of just let me, you know, sort of exist in my imaginary world for a good year or so. And sort of slowly reintegrated me back into you know, into the normal world, whatever that means. But, and I was always, it’s always been an awkward fit, you know. But I definitely, as I grow older, I definitely learn how to — how to deal with it better. I still struggle. I still am not comfortable. I’m not an extrovert. I’m not, you know, I’m not a natural exhibitionist or anything.

“I had been taken out of school for about a year. I, you know, always since I was a baby, I always rocked. I always, you know, would get hypnotized by fires. And I wouldn’t say I was introverted. I was more out there somewhere. I was off in the dream world all the time and didn’t, was not very communicative. And in the ’60s, you know, they did like, Rorschach tests and things.

“Yeah, yeah. It was like, here’s an ink blot. What does that mean? And, you know, my answers were all wrong, apparently. And so they recommended to my mom to put me on some medications and institutionalize me. And I’m so thankful that she didn’t. Because I would probably be still there today if she had, you know.”

Here is a clip from the Hannah interview:

Ronstadt also discusses the early signs of her health battles.

Ronstadt: “Well, I was standing on stage trying to sing and I couldn’t, you know. And I kept– you know, I’d do my vocal– vocal exercises before I go on the show– start the show. And they used to make me get really into a good voice. And somehow it wasn’t happening. I was struggling with pitch. I didn’t have any color that I could bring into my voice. I got to the point where I was basically really shouting and barking. And I said, ‘There’s something wrong with my voice.’ And people, and I kept going to the doctor and he said, ‘Well, there’s nothing wrong with your larynx. You know, the muscles are working fine.’

Well, it turned out I had Parkinson’s Disease. And of course with Parkinson’s Disease, there’s nothing wrong with the muscle, but there’s no phone lines between your brain and the muscle, so you can’t, can’t get the message to work. And I didn’t know that, you know. So that was the end of that.”

Rather: “Well, what’s the worst thing about the disease for you?”

Ronstadt: “Somebody said it’s like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride [Disneyland ride], and it sort of is. You wake up in the morning and you just don’t know what in the heck’s gonna happen. Like, I take a certain kinda medicine. I don’t take any of the pharmaceutical drugs for it yet ’cause I don’t like them. I get bad side effects.”

Here is a clip from the Ronstadt interview:

Acclaimed journalist Dan Rather gets to the heart of the matter has he has for more than 60 years in this intimate program where he explores the past, present and future lives of entertainment luminaries. Rather’s natural curiosity and easy going manner is on display, unearthing compelling, often news making, interviews.

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