‘It was the best part!’ Christine McGuinness on telling her children she’s autistic too
Christine McGuinness said that telling her children she was autistic was “the best part” of coming to terms with the diagnosis.
The model, whose three children Penelope and Leo, nine, and Felicity, seven, are also autistic, stars in a new BBC documentary, Unmasking My Autism.
Ahead of the show airing tonight, the 34-year-old made an appearance on BBC Morning Live to discuss her experience with the developmental disability.
“I embrace that we’re all completely unique,” she said of her and her autistic children. “The best part of the diagnosis was sitting and telling them that they were autistic and mummy is autistic too.
“We have our own little gang.”
McGuinness who shares the children with ex, Paddy McGuinness, also revealed it was when she started to see similarities in some of her and her children’s behaviour that she sought her own diagnosis.
“I was thinking there must be some kind of genetic link [with autism],” she said.
“There’s a lot I’ve got in common with the children. I always thought ‘they’re my kids, I’m gonna have things in common’ but I went and got a diagnosis.
“The clarity that you get from having that answer has made me feel less apologetic about myself, the way I think, the way I am.
“I used to feel like a nuisance, and I still do sometimes, but now I understand who I am.”
McGuinness, who interviews other autistic women in her documentary, continued: “Unfortunately it’s quite common for autistic girls and women to have a high self-doubt and low self-worth.
“And when she said that it really hit me, imagine not showing up for my own life, imagine not making the most of every day and every opportunity.”
McGuinness will also address her difficult childhood, which saw her sexually abused from the age of nine to 11 and raped as a teenager.
Christine McGuinness: Unmasking My Autism airs tonight (Wednesday March 15) at 9pm on BBC One