Niall Aslam left the Love Island villa relatively abruptly, and the reasons behind him doing so were not entirely clear, with much speculation of what might have prompted the departure. However, Niall has just broken his silence with an exceptionally candid Instagram post, elaborating on his reasons. So, why did Niall Aslam leave Love Island?
The former islander revealed all on Thursday morning when he took to social media to leave a long and impressively honest post about his reasons for leaving. He explained, among other things, that he has Asperger Syndrome. He wrote:
"Right, so here it goes... for this post I am putting my laying it on thick brush down and hoping to hit the nation with a love potion. For far too long I have suffered in silence and not acknowledged a massive fact about my life which going into the villa has led me to finally realise and accept. When I was a young child I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a fact that until this post has never shared outside of my close family."
Asperger Syndrome is a spectrum condition, according to UK charity The National Autistic Society, that can affect social interactions, the way world the world is perceived, sensory sensitivity, interests, and behaviours. "People with Asperger Syndrome," the charity outlines, "see, hear, and feel the world differently to other people. If you have Asperger syndrome, you have it for life — it is not an illness or disease and cannot be cured'. Often people feel that Asperger Syndrome is a fundamental aspect of their identity."
Niall continued in his Instagram post to articulate his own experiences...
"Growing up was extremely difficult for me and I often felt out of place. I always felt that people didn't understand me, yet I was afraid to reveal my true scales as I did not want the label or stigma that was attached to it. But now I think it is important that I come forward, not only so that I can finally be honest with myself and to those around me, but also so that other individuals in my position can embrace their true colours. It's not been an easy ride for me to come to terms with this fact but I am glad that I can now accept who I am, and am looking forward to my next chapter."
He then went on to thank the team at ITV for all they did for him while he was on Love Island. Despite deciding to quit, he explained that he was grateful for the "opportunity to rid my myself of my insecurities and embrace the fact that I am different yet I am still a rainbow fish."
When Niall left the villa he did so discretely, with Alex George breaking the news to the other islanders. "Niall for personal reasons," he said, "can't continue."
The rest of the villa were quick to jump in, saying what a nice person he was. "Obviously I was coupled up with him," Georgia Steel said in the Beach Hut. "So I became closer to him than most people in here, but, it was just that. He was actually my friend, my buddy." Other islanders chimed in too, with Alex saying he was "absolutely gutted," and Jack Fincham adding, "such a lovely boy".
Niall concluded his Instagram post by saying:
"I can't explain how grateful I am for the support from the whole team over this period. I would also like to thank the British public for the love you have all shown me over the past few weeks, it has been overwhelming. Now it's time for this rainbow fish to dive deep into the big blue ocean and show the world what I'm all about — there's more layers to come!"
Twitter has been praising Niall for his candour in speaking about a syndrome that is often not very well understood. At the time of writing, his Instagram post had over 72,000 likes and more than 5,000 comments. Hopefully, this will prompt more conversations about Asperger's Syndrome, and offer support to those with it.
For more information about Asperger's Syndrome, click here.