‘I’ve had difficulties’: Coronation Street legend addresses autism diagnosis at age 67

Shelley King has discussed how her life has changed after receiving a recent diagnosis of autism.

The actress from Coronation Street was not officially diagnosed until she was 67 years old. She never understood why last-minute script changes and puzzling narrative twists were tough before the medical evaluation, but she feels like she can now better understand herself.

Speaking about her experience on Good Morning Britain, Shelley, who portrays Yasmeen Nazir in the ITV soap opera, said that although it’s not always the case, she finds things lot simpler when she has time to study and practise.

Things on Coronation Street are subject to constant change. She said, “You can be doing their scenes all of a sudden if someone gets sick.”

Aside from knowing Jimi Mistry “socially,” she had never met any of the cast members before to her first day 10 years ago. “It was really challenging for me,” she said.

The 68-year-old Shelley said that since she had trouble with change, it took her months to feel at ease.

Shelley spoke about her challenges. (Image: ITV/Shutterstock/Ken McKay)

Then, Ed Ball and Susanna Reid, the hosts, questioned her about how she learned that she had autism.

After a lengthy phone call during which they discussed her problems, Shelley revealed that her lover Trilby James had pushed her to see a doctor. Eventually, she was able to get a referral for a test.

But the NHS had to prioritise Covid-19, so she didn’t get the answers until years later.

Shelley was advised by Trilby to see a doctor (Image: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)

Following her 2014 casting on Coronation Street, Shelley has tackled some challenging stories. Her involvement in a well-known coercive control plot with Ian Bartholomew’s character, Geoff Metcalfe, was particularly noteworthy.

When asked whether she would be open to Yasmeen receiving an autistic diagnosis in the future, Shelley replied she thought there were a few things they would need to be sure of.

Shelley joined Coronation Street in 2014 (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
Shelley would prefer that the plot be given more time. (Image: Danielle Baguley/ITV)

You should investigate this situation more thoroughly over time. Similar to the abuse tale, I believe it will take a lot of work to investigate it,’ she said.

“The most autistic character in Coronation Street,” as Shelley put it, may have a plot centred around Roy Cropper.

Autism is a condition that indicates that the brain functions differently rather than being an ailment or disease. There are no cures; instead, some individuals need assistance with specific issues.

According to the NHS website, individuals with autism may find it difficult to interact and communicate with others, struggle to understand the thoughts and feelings of others, find bright lights and loud noises overwhelming, stressful, or uncomfortable, experience anxiety or upset when in unfamiliar situations or at social gatherings, take longer to comprehend information, and repeatedly think or do the same things.

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