Former Gogglebox star Tom Malone Jr has announced to his fans that he has been diagnosed with autism
The 27-year-old dancer revealed that he recently learned of his condition after always feeling “a bit different”.
For Tom, the news comes as a relief as he now understands why he has always felt this way, reports Manchester Evening News.
Known as a “spectrum condition”, Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability and is defined by a certain set of behaviors that affects people differently to varying degrees, according to the Autism Society.
Taking to social media, Tom said: “I don’t normally do very personal posts like this but I thought this one was important..
“I’ve always felt a bit different, a bit socially awkward and like I just don’t process things in the same way as everybody else.
“Finally I have an explanation. I’ve recently been diagnosed as autistic.
“Something that both makes sense to me whilst at the same time is something completely new to learn about and understand more about why I am the way I am. Now begins the journey.
Did you know you can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to our daily newsletter?
We send a morning and lunchtime newsletter covering the latest headlines every day.
We also send coronavirus updates at 5pm on weekdays, and a round up of the week’s must-read stories on Sunday afternoons.
Signing up is simple, easy and free.
You can pop your email address into the sign up box above, hit Subscribe and we’ll do the rest.
Alternatively, you can sign up and check out the rest of our newsletters here.
“This one goes out to all the kids that have ever felt misunderstood due to being a little bit different.”
Tom rose to fame on social media platform TikTok after appearing in the popular TV show Gogglebox as part of the fan-favourite Malone family from Manchester alongside dad Tom, mum Julie, and brother Shaun.
The professional dancer and model announced in February that he wouldn’t be returning for the latest series of the show alongside his parents, with sister Vanessa taking his spot on the sofa instead.
People were quick to praise the star’s honesty, with fans and other content creators leaving heart-warming comments under his posts. Model and TikTok star Addis Miller said: “Love this brother, I hope this gives other people strength to own their story.”
A fan said: “Thank you so much for this post Tom, honestly it makes a massive difference! I’m 33 and currently waiting for a diagnosis, and you have put it perfectly about being relieved as we finally have an explanation, well done to you for being brave”.
Another added: “I’m so proud of you tom for opening up about this when you didn’t have to, as a fellow person with autism I know going through the process of getting diagnosed can be such a hard time.
Please remember that you are absolutely incredible and are so loved. Sending you so much love.”
Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here .