Why TV Host Em Rusciano Was Criticised Over Autism Diagnosis

Em Rusciano is many things, an author, a TV presenter, a comedian, a podcast host, a singer and former radio host but arguably her favourite role is mother of three. 

Em recently revealed that all three of her children, Elio, Marchella and Odette have all been diagnosed as neurodiverse which led her to take a closer look at her own mental health. 

The radio and TV presenter was diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in April 2021 and in 2022, was also diagnosed with autism. 

“An Autism diagnosis is not devastating” – KICBUMP with Em Rusciano

Em has publicly navigated her way through her neurodivergence, chatting openly about how differently autism presents in women.

“It’s been a full on couple of years because who I thought I was to my core was blown apart,” she said. 

“There’s a certain perception around me and certainly something that I was always hyper aware of [is] that I’m a b***h, or that I’m hard or that I’m somebody who is not approachable.

“Certainly within my industry, I always privately felt like a failure, like I was a fraud and that everyone was going to find me out eventually.

“I’m really emotional and everything hurts my feelings all the time, everything makes me cry, I’m always on the brink of tears. 

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“All of these things just coupled up, I’m a bad person, I’m a horrible awful person, why is everything so hard and then I found the reason – not the excuse.

“Sometimes I am just an a**hole, but I got a reason and it was weirdly simple in the end.” 

While opening up about her own experience is undoubtedly brave, Em has faced plenty of criticism with some claiming she publicly announced her diagnosis for attention. 

 “If you want to call it a fad, fine, but you’re minimising lots of pain and lots of heartache for many many people, and also maybe discouraging especially women who really need help getting help,” she said.

“But the fad thing is kind of wild, because again, someone said that I was autistic for attention, and I was like mate I’m a stand up comic, I get on stage, if I wanted attention I know how to get it. Also to say someone is not disabled enough is so gross.”

Em joins KICPOD to chat about all things mental health, dealing with public scrutiny and normalising neurodiverse conversations. 

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