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Dylan (2) is autistic...but I wouldn't change a thing reveals Tara

Actress Tara Leniston has spoken of how her two-year-old son has been diagnosed with autism.

Tara (28) and her partner, former TV presenter Andrew Fowler, were delivered the devastating news just last week.

The couple became concerned about their son last January after little Dylan began laughing uncontrollably in the middle of the night and stopped responding to his name.

They initially suspected it was hearing difficulties before the eventual diagnosis was made by a paediatric specialist.

"I knew what they were going to say, I guess you just secretly hope that they will turn around and say it's just speech problems," Tara said.

"They confirmed he was on the autistic spectrum but that as he was young, there is not much they can do to ensure he is high functioning.

"I had a little cry that night. I am not sure why as I feel totally okay with it.

"I just feel emotionally drained. It is a challenge at times, but I wouldn't change a thing about him."

Tara, who's working on a new movie in New York next month, added how he has come along in leaps and bounds since receiving therapy and she changed his diet.

And she has received a wealth of support from her pals, including Leigh Arnold -- who recently became a new mum -- and fellow actress Amy Huberman.



isolated

Leniston previously opened up about her battle with post-natal depression.

She spoke of how difficult it was to cope following Dylan's birth, admitting she began to "hate" herself after giving birth to her first child.

And she explained she felt isolated because her family is scattered around the globe.

Tara said: "No one really knows what it is, and it was particularly hard for me because none of my family members were living here.

"Basically, I was all on my own, then all of a sudden, there was this baby and I thought, 'oh my God'.

"A lot of people think with post-natal depression you think, 'I hate my baby' or 'I want to harm my baby', but I adored my baby. It was me I hated.

"Every time he cried, I thought he hated me. And the sleep deprivation didn't help. I wasn't feeling like myself."

mfinn@herald.ie