Erin McClean shares her pride for husband James as he opens up about autism diagnosis


Erin McClean is sharing her pride for footballer husband James, after he announced his autism diagnosis.

James shared the news publicly this week, explaining how his 4-year-old daughter Willow-Ivy has also been diagnosis with the condition. As he and Erin educated themselves to help their daughter, the Derry man noticed he shared may traits with Willow-Ivy, and sought a professional opinion, testing positive for ASD (Autism spectrum disorder).

The soccer star received plenty of support and praise for his bravery in sharing his story. Even being honoured in the Dáil, with Labour TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, congratulating James, and thanking him for helping to end stigmas surrounding neurodivergence.

Re-tweeting the clip, Erin shared her pride for her husband and daughter’s courage.


Writing on Twitter: “I feel so proud of James & Willow-Ivy. Breaking down barriers & igniting a conversation was the goal.”

The mum of four also showed her support for the TD’s message on the importance of supports for children with neurodivergence.

Writing: “I’m thankful for the support & care Willow gets here in England and really hope that the many families back in Ireland, struggling, get the necessary help & support they deserve.”

The pro-footballed shared the news on social media alongside a picture of his daughter, earlier this week.

“Autism awareness week,” he began.

“As you all know, my daughter Willow-Ivy is autistic. The last 4 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.”


He continued: “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.”

He concluded by simply saying: “Daddy’s girl”.

His wife Erin was quick to comment: “Proud of the 2 of use always.”

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