Former Gogglebox regular Tom Malone Jr has won praise from fans after opening up about his latest diagnosis of autism at age 28.
Tom appeared on Gogglebox with the rest of the Malone family until February 2021, declaring that he wanted to explore other opportunities.
The TikTok star and professional dancer is still on screen elsewhere, having appeared on E4’s The Real Dirty Dancing earlier this year.
It’s no surprise that the former fan favorite still has many supportive fans who want to know what he’s up to, but his latest update was very personal.
In an Instagram post, he revealed that he has autism, a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain.
He shared how he sought explanations after ‘always feeling a little different’ and told fans: ‘I don’t usually make very personal posts like this but I thought this post was important.
I’ve always felt a little different, a bit socially awkward, and like I don’t treat things the same way as everyone else. Finally, I have an explanation. I was recently diagnosed with autism.
He went on to add: “Something that makes sense to me while at the same time is something completely new to get to know and understand more about why I am where I am.
Now the journey begins. This goes to all the kids who felt misunderstood for being a little different.
Stars like Saffron Barker and Hollyoaks Chelsee Healey have left their love under the post, as well as a host of fans who have praised him for his openness.
One wrote: “Here’s to you Tom! I was diagnosed with autism in January! He answers a lot of questions and fills in the gaps for things we all weren’t sure about! I’m still learning about myself and starting to feel better about myself! Happy late diagnosis! #Awareness about autism.’
Another commented, “I’m so proud of you for this and I’m with you all the way.”
Another added: “Sharing your story will help support others.”
We hope that this diagnosis will help you understand yourself more. I have 3 boys with autism and have seen the beauty and brilliance of autism. There will be tough days of course, but just know that you are not alone and that there is plenty of support out there if you feel you need it,’
Another echoed: “You are such a great role model, sharing will make a huge impact on so many.”
This comes after he ruled out an impromptu return to Gogglebox earlier this year while responding to a fan who asked if he could take his girlfriend Brioney Briscoe on the show.
He explained, “I’m not actually on Gogglebox anymore, and I haven’t done so for a year now.
‘So ‘because I’m not under contract, I won’t be able to just show up and I won’t be able to bring Briony with me because she wasn’t under contract either. So no.
Gogglebox airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on Channel 4.
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