Holly Madison reveals autism diagnosis: ‘I’m not on the same social wavelength’ as others

Holly Madison revealed she’s been diagnosed with autism.

“The doctors told me that I have high-executive functioning, which pretty much means that I can go about my life and do things ’normally,’” the former Playboy bunny said on Friday’s episode of the “Talking To Death” podcast.

Madison, 43, explained that she is “highly functioning,” and understands that her diagnosis may not be “as extreme” as others on the spectrum.

“I’m not the spokesperson for everybody. They call it a spectrum for a reason,” she noted.

Madison went on to share that when she first received the diagnosis, she recalled how the signs were there all the way back from when she was a child.

“I’ve been suspicious of it for a while because my mom told me that she was always suspicious that that was a thing,” she said.

Holly Madison revealed she has been diagnosed with autism. Denise Truscello/WireImage
The former Playmate shared that she is still “highly functioning” but may miss out on social cues. Holly Madison/Instagram

“The first thing she noticed was that I would zone out a lot as a kid and people would always ask her, ‘What is wrong with her? What is she doing?’ And my mom would just be like, ‘She’s thinking.’”

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Madison added that she has “always” struggled with “not recognizing social cues” or “not picking up” on things “the same way” other people did.

“I just made excuses for it. I thought it was because I grew up in Alaska, and then around middle school, moved to Oregon and I thought, ‘Well that was just a big social change,’” she recalled.

Madison, who previously dated Hugh Hefner, shared how she had “signs” of her autism growing up. Ethan Miller/Getty Images for BASE Entertainm

“So I’m just very introverted. Like, that’s kind of always how I wrote it off.”

However, the “Holly’s World” alum explained that some of her past social struggles — now explained by her diagnosis — had previously “rubbed [people] the wrong way.”

“They think I’m, like, stuck up or snobby or think I’m better than everybody else,” she recalled. “I think because I’m more quiet, I’ve only recently learned to make eye contact [and] I’m often off in my own thoughts, so people take that as offensive.”

The “Holly’s World” alum shared that her lack of social awareness would sometimes rub people the “wrong way.” Holly Madison/Instagram

She added that she doesn’t “have a gauge” to tell when others are finished speaking, which leads her to accidentally interrupting people and “[pissing] people off.”

Today, Madison said that she will “apologize” to others if she realizes she interrupted or spoke over them and will “tell them why” by explaining her diagnosis.

Continuing, Madison urged others to not “take it personally” when she isn’t hitting the correct social cues, because she’s simply “not on the same social wavelength” as other people.

“Everyone operates differently and maybe I think interacting with anybody, just have a little bit of patience because you don’t know what they’re dealing with or what their level of social function is, you know?”

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