Gregg Wallace, 58, agrees his age 'could be' reason for son Sid having autism

Gregg Wallace has opened up about his son Sid having autism, and agreed his age ‘could be’ a reason for the youngster’s diagnosis.

The MasterChef judge’s four-year-old son, Sid, was diagnosed with autism last year and is non-verbal – a more extreme symptom of those who are autistic.

Gregg and wife Anne-Marie Sterpini, 37, are ‘hopeful’ that over time Sid will continue to develop and be able to engage with his peers.

The 58-year-old dad confessed that when he found out, he went ‘through a period of almost like mourning’ for the child he thought he would have.

Those with autism can experience a variety of symptoms that mostly impact they interact and communicate with the world.

The presenter said he doesn’t blame himself, despite some studies showing links between the age of parents and children developing autism.

‘It could be that,’ Gregg told The Times when asked about the link, but added: ‘It doesn’t trouble me.

‘Blame is for God and small children. It doesn’t make it any better if we go: it’s my fault.’

A key study in 2006 found a link between the father’s age and how likely a baby was to develop autism, although over the years this has been disputed and confirmed by various other studies.

Gregg added: ‘You go through a period of almost like mourning. Like, my God, I haven’t got the child I thought I had.’

However, he insisted he doesn’t believe his son is ‘missing out’ on life experiences with his family, and it’s only the adults in the family who will feel the impact.

‘I wanted to kick a rugby ball about with him and teach him about knights and castles. His mum and nonna would have wanted to teach him how to cook and make his bed and his clothes.

Gregg added that Sid ‘squealed and ran up the hallway’ when he came home the other day, which he had never done before.

Many people with autism are able to live without being hindered by the condition, with late diagnoses helping people who have milder cases.

Initially, when stepping back from Inside the Factory, Gregg said it was to spend more time with Sid, who may remain non-verbal for the rest of his life.

However, Gregg recently left the series due to a complaint about his ‘derogatory banter’ toward female staff.

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