TV presenter Melanie Sykes has revealed that she’s been diagnosed as autistic at 51 years old.
She says her diagnosis, which she is now celebrating, is “life-affirming” and comes as a relief. She explained that the struggles she’s faced throughout her television career make so much more sense now.
“I have always struggled with earpieces, what they call talkback, where you hear what the director says,” she explained in an email to the readers of her magazine, The Frank. “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.”
She also says that her memory has always been an issue, and remembering pieces for TV would spin her out and result in many sleepless nights. “There have been many tears of fear and frustration,” she said.
Sykes recently took to Instagram to explain her diagnosis further.
She told her followers that she wishes she had known about her diagnosis much sooner in life, so that she could’ve understood why things were they way they were.
“I’ve been vulnerable to abusive people, I’ve been vulnerable to people that lie because I only see and take on board what people tell me,” she said. “I’ve always been a bit funny with jokes, if somebody tells me something with a deadpan delivery I believe them.”
While this is the first time Sykes has learned she is autistic, autism is not new to her. Her youngest son was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old, and she has been very involved in public speaking on autism and raising money for autism organizations.
Listen to Sykes speak about her diagnosis in the video below: