Paddy McGuinness has confessed he fears his children will never understand what love is.
The Top Gear presenter and wife Christine McGuinness are parents to eight-year-old twins Leo and Penelope and five-year-old daughter Felicity, all of whom have been diagnosed with autism and they are opening up on their experiences in BBC One documentary Our Family and Autism.
Paddy, 48, said: “What gets to me with them all, and it’s only how I think, I think, ‘Will they ever know how loved they are? Do they understand what love is?
“When I’m with Leo every night in bed I will say to him, ‘Who loves you more than anything in the world?’. He’ll say, ‘you do’. Then I’ll go, ‘Do you love Daddy?’ and he’ll go, ‘yeah’.
“But I think to myself, ‘Is he just saying that, or does he know that?’”
Watch: Paddy McGuinness opens up about the challenges of parenting children with autism
The comedian and TV presenter revealed that when his children were diagnosed with autism he developed clinical depression as his worries about them spiralled out of control.
He said: “It chipped away at me, with all of the things you have to do, things you have to deal with as a parent of children with autism. It dawned on me that, that’s it, that’s it forever. There’s no ‘they’ll get better as the years go on’.
“I wasn’t unhappy for me. I was just stressed with the whole thing but I worked my BS [backside] off because I thought the only thing I can do for these kids is give them a life where they’re as comfortable as possible.
"What I should have been thinking is I need to give them as much love as I can. It’s more about having time with them. I realise that now.”
Paddy added: “I’ve got three amazing kids with autism, I’ve got a wife who’s autistic and I feel blessed and equipped with life going forward.
"This is my gang, my family. I’m proud of us and wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism is on BBC One at 9pm.
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