I’m not embarrassed to be autistic, it’s positive, says newly diagnosed Mel Sykes on Loose Women

MELANIE Sykes has said it is a “good thing” that she is autistic after being diagnosed at the age of 51.

The TV presenter, who has an autistic child, appeared on Loose Women today in a bid to show others that it isn’t “embarrassing”.

She explained: “I know what makes me autistic and it’s the fabric of who I am and who I’ve always been and I think I’m great.

“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.

“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.”

Asked if there’s anything in her life that would have been different had she had the diagnosis earlier, Mel said: “I would have asked them more about what I needed, especially in this industry because there’s a lot of sensitivities that I dealt with because I didn’t think I had a voice to change things.

"Men are able to say, ‘I need this, I need that,’ I didn’t feel like I could.”

She added: “I’m good at getting on with it because it’s part of my nature, but it hurts a little bit. It’s all a little bit uncomfortable because I’m not stage school, so it’s all a little bit against the grain.”

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