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James McClean marks World Autism Month by meeting young fans | BreakingNews.ie

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Republic of Ireland footballer James McClean and his family have marked World Autism Month at an event in Dublin.

The 33-year-old Wrexham player revealed last year that he had been diagnosed with autism.

He attended the event alongside his wife Erin and their six-year-old daughter Willow-Ivy, who also has autism.

They were hosted by Autism Charity AsIAm, at the Dylan Hotel in Dublin, where McClean met young autistic football fans from the charity’s Family Support Programme.

Footballer James McClean met young fans. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA.

Recently diagnosed with autism, inspired by his daughter Willow-Ivy, McClean emphasised the importance of raising awareness about neurodiversity and stated there is “no shame” in disclosing a diagnosis.

Speaking at the event, AsIAm chief executive Adam Harris said: “James McClean is a fantastic role model for young autistic people. His openness about his and his daughter’s autism diagnoses empowers others to embrace their identities without fear of judgment.

“This year, as AsIAm celebrates its 10th anniversary, his support is especially meaningful.

“We continue to work towards a more inclusive society, and having champions like James advocate for understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity is pivotal to our mission.”

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