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HomeTv & ShowChristine McGuinness admits she 'never panicked' about her autistic children's slow development

Christine McGuinness admits she 'never panicked' about her autistic children's slow development


Christine McGuinness has revealed she never ‘worried or panicked’ about her autistic children slow development, due to her own diagnosis of the condition.

Speaking on her new Table Talk podcast with husband Paddy, the mother-of-three, 33, admitted that during her children’s early years she ‘wasn’t aware’ that they were struggling to hit their milestones because she was ‘just like them.’

Christine, who shares twins Leo and Penelope, eight, and daughter Felicity, six, with Paddy, also revealed that unlike some parents they are yet to tell their children about their autistic diagnosis.

Candid: Christine McGuinness has revealed she never 'worried or panicked' about her autistic children slow development, due to her own diagnosis of the condition

Candid: Christine McGuinness has revealed she never ‘worried or panicked’ about her autistic children slow development, due to her own diagnosis of the condition

For their podcast, Paddy and Christine will interview six families to higlight the added challenges placed on parents raising a disabled or seriously ill child.

In the opening episode the couple spoke to mother Nikki, whose son Logan, 16, was diagnosed with autism, Tourettes and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at a young age. 

During the chat, Nicky explained that even when Logan was a baby she began to notice he was slow in reaching his milestones, and sought medical advice.

Open: The mother-of-three admitted that during her children's early years she 'wasn't aware' that they were struggling to hit their milestones

Open: The mother-of-three admitted that during her children’s early years she ‘wasn’t aware’ that they were struggling to hit their milestones 

Christine that when her eldest two children were young, she didn’t notice their slow development, because she was also unknowingly autistic herself, gave gone undiagnosed until last year.

She added that since becoming more aware of autism and its signs, she and Paddy noticed it much earlier in their youngest daughter Felicity.

She said: ‘I wasn’t aware that the children were different to anyone else because they were just like me.

‘I never worried or panicked when the children weren’t hitting their milestones, but when you do know about it, like I said with our youngest we knew more about it

‘It weren’t a worry, it was just more that thought ”OK we can step in here, we can help we can try and get support if we do it a lot earlier.”

Open: Christine, who shares twins Leo and Penelope, eight, and daughter Felicity, six, with Paddy, also revealed that they are yet to tell their children about their autistic diagnosis

Open: Christine, who shares twins Leo and Penelope, eight, and daughter Felicity, six, with Paddy, also revealed that they are yet to tell their children about their autistic diagnosis

As Nikki noted that she openly shared Logan’s diagnosis with him frm a young age, Paddy and Christine admitted that they are yet to tell their three children about their autism, saying it ‘might be a bit much for them.’

Christine also noted she was unable to tell Leo and Penelope about their diagnosis when they were four because they were still ‘non-verbal’ at the time.  

Discussing the unorthodox methods they use to communicate with their child. Christine said she was grateful to have the chance to spent her children’s early years at home given many parents juggle work with full-time care. 

She said: ‘I think with any child anyway if you can get into their mind and into their world, it does help.

‘I was very very fortunate, Patrick works and I was able to have those early years at home, I was doing the speech and language therapy and take them to appointments.

Important: She said: 'I wasn't aware that the children were different to anyone else because they were just like me'

Important: She said: ‘I wasn’t aware that the children were different to anyone else because they were just like me’

‘I speak to so many families that struggle, they can’t go to work and care for children with disabilities.’

Christine and Paddy’s podcast series launches alongside new research into family life across the UK, in a poll of 2,000 families, commissioned by McCain and Family Fund, the UK’s biggest charity supporting families with disabled, and seriously ill, children. 

Table Talk with Paddy and Christine is out now and available to listen to on all major streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Out now: Table Talk with Paddy and Christine is out now and available to listen to on all major streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts

Out now: Table Talk with Paddy and Christine is out now and available to listen to on all major streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts

What is autism? 

Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) can cause a wide range of symptoms, which are often grouped into two main categories.

Firstly, problems with social interaction and communication.

This includes difficulty understanding and being aware of other people’s emotions and feelings and/or problems taking part in, or starting, conversations.

Patterns of thought are another key area, namely restricted and repetitive patterns of thought or physical movement, such as hand tapping or twisting, and becoming upset if these set routines are disrupted.

It’s estimated about 1 in every 100 people in the UK has ASC. More boys are diagnosed with it than girls.

There is no cure for ASC, but a range of educational and behavioural support programmes can help people with the condition.

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