Weekdays 12.30pm

Sam Bailey on her son's autism diagnosis: 'How he got through school, I don't know - I'm so proud of him'

Sam Bailey told the Loose Women that she's "so proud" of her son, Tommy, who was diagnosed with autism earlier this year and explained how she had to fight to get answers for him.

Former prison officer Sam, who shot to fame when she won the tenth series of The X Factor in 2013, said she felt guilty that she hadn't spotted the signs sooner.

"Looking back, he has an issue with loud music and loud noises. A hand dryer in the toilet, he’d be like: 'Agh!'," she explained.

"I feel quite emotional when I think about it," she continued. "I feel so guilty that I didn’t pick up on it or do something sooner. He's had a bad time at school with bullying and feeling a bit different. Every day I think to myself: 'I wish I'd known'."

Sam spoke powerfully about her determination to get answers for Tommy, telling the panel how she set about raising the funds to pay for a private diagnosis and explaining how much of a difference it has made to his life.

"I feel like someone’s taken the blinkers off. It's like I've got a new child, I've got more of an understanding of who he is. It's been an eye opener," she said.

"He still has his struggles at school. They’re doing everything they can. Now he's getting the help he deserves," Sam added. "I'm so, so proud of this kid. How he got through school, I don't know. I'm so proud of him."

Watch Sam's chat in the video above and catch the rest of the show on the ITV Hub.

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised or just want to find out more about autism you can use these helplines.

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Weekdays 12.30pm