‘It’s been a journey’: Republic of Ireland’s James McClean shares autism diagnosis

James McClean, the Republic of Ireland international, has revealed he has been diagnosed with autism.

The 33-year-old made his diagnosis public in an Instagram post on Tuesday during World Autism Acceptance Week, prompting his wife, Erin, to write of her pride. McClean underwent an autistic spectrum disorder assessment after recognising traits he shared with the couple’s daughter, Willow-Ivy.

He wrote: “As you all know, my daughter Willow-Ivy is autistic. The last four years have been life-changing in the most amazing way, but also very difficult at times as her daddy watching her overcome so many obstacles in her life and learning how to manage the challenges she faces on a daily basis.

“The more Erin and I learned about autism, the more we began to recognise I was very similar to Willow in more ways than we thought. I see so many small traits in her that I see in myself, so I decided to go and get an ASD assessment.

“It’s been a bit of a journey and now having a diagnosis I feel it’s time to share it, for the week that’s in it. I have debated for a while going public in sharing this as I’ve done this for Willow-Ivy, to let her know that I understand and that being autistic won’t and should never hold her back from reaching her goals and dreams. Daddy’s girl.”

The Guardian