My Celebrity Life

Melanie Sykes ‘very happy’ to discover she has autism – but don’t call it a ‘disorder’

Melanie was diagnosed with autism at 51 (Picture: Hello! Magazine)

Melanie Sykes has opened up on her ‘happiness at being diagnosed with autism, saying said she felt ‘relief’.

The TV presenter, whose 17-year-old son Tino has the same condition, was diagnosed with autism last month, which affects the way people communicate and interact, at the age of 51.

Opening up further about her diagnosis, she told Hello! magazine: ‘It’s fantastic, that’s why I’m celebrating it.

‘I’ve always felt different to other people and how they think and operate, but now I know it’s because I’m autistic it makes me feel validated as I understand why.

‘I’m relieved. It’s great to know and I’m very happy about it.

‘Now I know what all my sensitivities are about.

The star wants to quash the condition’s stigma (Picture: Hello!)

‘During lockdown I enjoyed not having to go out and socialise, to brave corporate events, shake hands and be pulled in for a kiss by complete strangers.

‘I’ve always been uncomfortable in crowds or being touched by people I don’t know.

‘My sensitivities are now completely validated because I’m autistic.’

Sykes has been welcomed into the autistic community with messages from mothers of children on the spectrum and adults diagnosed late in life.

She said: ‘They’re so happy I’m talking about it, normalising it. Some people who were too embarrassed to tell anyone now feel they can.

‘It makes me extremely happy to know I’ve helped.’

She opens up in the latest issue of Hello! (Picture: Hello!)

The broadcaster is now determined to remove the stigma associated with autism, including not referring to it as a ‘disorder’.

She added: ‘There’s nothing wrong with autistic people; we just think and access the world differently, and people who aren’t on the spectrum need to understand that.

‘Autism shouldn’t be referred to as a ‘disorder’ as this implies the way an autistic mind works is faulty.

‘The brain isn’t broken, it just thinks differently to a neuro-typical person.’

Sykes recently spoke candidly on Loose Women with presenters Charlene White, Coleen Nolan and Penny Lancaster about her diagnosis.

When asked when the penny dropped that she was autistic, Sykes said: ‘They’re still dropping, every day.’

She also spoke about working on a documentary with Harry Thompson, who is autistic, where she was told she might have an ADHD or autism profile.

‘He thought I might have an DHD profile, and autistic profile because of how I was,’ she said. ‘I know now what makes me autistic and it is the fabric of who I am and who I’ve always been, and I think I’m great!’

She added: ‘I’m here for everyone that has been diagnosed and is a bit embarrassed about it… It’s a good thing, because it’s not a disorder.’

The full article is in this week’s Hello! magazine.

Credit: Original article published here.

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