Christine McGuinness says her autistic children are 'struggling' with coronavirus lockdown

Julia Hunt
Contributor
Christine McGuinness at The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards (Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Christine McGuinness has opened up about isolating at home with her autistic children, admitting: “We are struggling.”

The star and her husband Paddy McGuinness are parents to six-year-old twins Leo and Penelope and four-year-old Felicity, who are all autistic.

Appearing on This Morning, she said isolating at home was “really, really difficult” for the children, and also told how the panic buying going on across the country means it will be hard for her to get things that her children eat.

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“Honestly, online we’re trying to keep it really positive and fun, but at home we are struggling,” she said.

“It’s just been so difficult this week, trying to explain to the children that we've got to stay indoors… when we’ve spent years and years encouraging our children to go to places and to go out at the weekend.”

Paddy McGuinness and Christine McGuinness at tthe National Television Awards 2019 (Doug Peters/EMPICS)

McGuinness said Penelope has also been struggling with anxiety.

“So she’s already gone really quiet in herself,” she said. “I’m not getting as much out of her, her communication isn't as good.

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“So I am worried about what sort of effect this is going to have if we are stuck in for another couple of months. But ultimately, we have got to stay home to stay healthy and well.”

McGuinness addressed the fact that food has been flying off the shelves in supermarkets as people stockpile, explaining it was a problem for those whose children only eat certain foods.

“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of families in the same position where their child may only eat one brand of pasta and they can’t get that any more,” she said.

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“This isn’t as simple as saying, ‘Oh, your child is fussy. They’ll eat if they’re hungry.’ They won’t, some children and adults with autism have really strong aversions to food.”

Explaining that her son would only eat brown bread at breakfast, she said: “Once I run out of this loaf of brown bread that I have got now, I haven’t got any and I can’t get any.

“I’ve got about six days to try and find a loaf of brown bread so he can have his breakfast, because he’s not going to have anything else.”

This Morning airs weekdays from 10am until 12.30pm on ITV.