Melanie Sykes inundated with messages from mothers of teenage girls after sharing autism diagnosis

·Contributor
·2-min read
Melanie Sykes has spoken about the reaction to her sharing the news of her autism diagnosis. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Together For Short Livessss)
Melanie Sykes has spoken about the reaction to her sharing the news of her autism diagnosis. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Together For Short Livessss)

Melanie Sykes has said her phone was “blown up” with messages from mothers of teenage girls after recently sharing her autism diagnosis.

The 51-year-old television presenter announced last week in an Instagram video that she had been diagnosed with the developmental condition, news she described as a “relief”.

In a new interview with the Loose Women panel on Tuesday, Sykes opened up on the response she had from others.

Read more: Christine McGuinness says parenting autistic children in lockdown is 'uphill struggle'

“This has been a big thing for me - I don’t need the air time, I don’t care about the column inches - I’ve had 25 years of this and that’s not what I did it for. I’m here for everybody that has been diagnosed, who’s a bit embarrassed about it.

Watch: Paddy McGuinness opens up about the challenges of parenting autistic children

“My phone has blown up with mothers of teenage girls, who are like, ‘I’ve just shown her your video and they’re like ‘It’s a good thing’. And it is a good thing because it’s all the positives about someone.

"They call it a disorder which needs to get scrapped because it isn’t the things I can’t do, it’s the things I can do that are my autistic sensibilities. That’s what we need to change,” she shared on the ITV show.

Sykes, whose 17-year-old son Valetino is also autistic, added that because of the way autism can present differently in girls and boys, those differences should be addressed.

It comes after Christine McGuinness opened up last week about receiving an autism diagnosis as an adult.

Read more: Christine and Paddy McGuinness to feature in BBC autism documentary

The model said it had been “emotional to accept” but that she was also relieved.

The three children the 33-year-old shares with husband Paddy McGuinness, eight-year-old twins Penelope and Leo and daughter Felicity, five, have also been diagnosed as autistic.

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