TV presenter Melanie Sykes has announced that she’s been diagnosed with autism at the age of 51.
Melanie called the diagnosis ‘life changing’ as everything in her life finally ‘made sense’.
The mother-of-two said she celebrated the diagnosis.
The star wrote on social media: “This week has been truly life-changing. Or rather, life affirming.
“As many of you may or may not know, I was diagnosed with autism late Thursday afternoon.
“And then, finally, so many things made sense.”
Melanie admitted that her diagnosis has come as a huge relief to her, and she is now celebrating the fact that she’s autistic.
The TV star continued: “I cannot begin to tell you the sense of relief this is for me and how much I celebrate this diagnosis.
“I now have a deeper understanding of myself, my life, and the things I have endured.”
She went on to describe how working on live TV hasn’t always been easy for her due to her ‘sensitivities’.
“The sensitivities around working in television have come up,” Melanie admitted.
“I have always struggled with earpieces – what they call ‘talkback’, where you hear what the director says.
“I have often accidentally responded to the director in my ear, live on air, as I cannot juggle the person I am interviewing and the person in my ear at the same time.”
“My memory has always been problematic. And remembering pieces to camera could spin me out, resulting in sleepless nights beforehand. There have been many tears of fear and frustration.”
Melanie’s son Valentino also lives with autism.
Valentino, 17, known as Tino, was diagnosed when he was aged between two-and-a-half and three.
At the time, Melanie, 51, was wed to actor Daniel Caltagirone, 49, father of Tino and brother Roman, now 19.
She said: “That boy is the light of my life. When he was diagnosed he changed my life.
“I couldn’t be in a marriage that I wasn’t happy in, in order to help him.
“I had to sort myself out and he helped me get out of the situation that I was in – he was definitely the fuel for the move to do that.
“Because you and I know when you are unhappy you can’t function as a parent.”
Melanie is the second high-profile celebrity in recent weeks to announce her diagnosis.
This week, model and TV star Christine McGuinness bravely announced that she too was autistic.
The 37-year-old model, who is married to Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness, is also a proud mum to three children who are all autistic.