Man Utd goalkeeper opens up on autism diagnosis and calls for more ‘inclusivity and understanding’

Manchester United via Getty Imag
Manchester United goalkeeper Safia Middleton-Patel recently revealed been diagnosed with autism.

Manchester United goalkeeper Safia Middleton-Patel has thanked the club for their immense support after recently being dianosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder).

The 18-year-old goalkeeper, who recently signed her first professional contract with the club, took to social media to open up about his recent diagnosis.

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On her official X (formerly known as Twitter) page, Middleton-Patel wrote: “I’d love for the world to be a more inclusive and understanding place.

“The past few months have been as tough as they have been positive, just recently receiving my ASD diagnosis I actually feel freed from the mask I have grown to hide behind” she said.

The teenage shot stopper has recently enjoyed successful loans spell in the second tier with Blackburn Rovers and Coventry United, while she also made her international debut for Wales in February, playing the full 90 minutes of a 1-0 over Philippines during the Pinatar Cup.

Manchester United via Getty Imag

According to the National Institute of Health, ASD is classified as “a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave” and Middleton-Patel is hoping to help erase the stigma that is sometimes attached to Autism.

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“Neurodivergence shouldn’t have a stigma attached, it seems it has always been my superpower” said the 18-year-old.

“I am just starting the journey of embracing my differences, my quirks, my uniqueness and what it is to be on the spectrum and how to find my place within it. My MUFC family have been an immense support throughout my diagnosis and are walking with me in understanding ASD, and for that I am extremely grateful.

“I’m wearing my puzzle pieces with pride on my boots and gloves, where I and others see them everyday, to represent the complexity and diversity of Autism” added the goalkeeper.

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