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Melanie Sykes Opens Up About Her Son’s Autism

Television personality Melanie Sykes describes her seven year old’s autism to highlight World Autism Awareness Day

Melanie Sykes spoke about her child’s autism on television this morning, revealing he started displaying symptoms when he was two years old.

The TV presenter and model, 43, is mum to Valentino, now seven, and was being interviewed on ITV’s Daybreak to tie in with World Autism Awareness Day.

Melanie, who also has another son Roman, described some of Valentino’s behaviour and how other people react to him.

'There are issues such as judging from other people,’ she said.

‘Tino looks like a normal child but if he gets overloaded... If in a restaurant there is too much music, or the clatter of cutlery, he will have to get up and hop about. He doesn't realise [there might be people nearby]. I do try and explain to people.'

But she also highlighted how much joy her son had brought to her life, commenting that people ‘always focus on the negative’ side of the condition.

She also highlighted how much joy her son had brought to her life, commenting that people ‘always focus on the negative’ side of the condition

‘They’re very sensitive people but also very funny,’ she says. ‘Tino makes me laugh on a daily basis because he says everything how it is. There’s no filter.’

Her son is in a mainstream school but with one-on-one support. And Melanie explained he has some social issues.

'He doesn't have any friends but he doesn't want any. Even though all the people at school love him. He couldn't give a monkeys,’ she says.

Encouraging parents to seek advice if they spot signs of autism in their child, she added, 'It's hard to imagine your child won't go down the normal route. But if you leave it until the age of five or six the beahviour will be so engrained… You need to spot it and sort it out.’

For more on autism, visit The National Autistic Society.

What’s your experience of autism? Let us know on the comments board below.

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