Earlier this month, Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine revealed that their four-year-old twins, Leo and Penelope had been diagnosed with autism. Christine, 29, spoke about their children’s condition on her Instagram page, paying tribute to the twins and revealing the challenges they face together. Now, the Take Me Out star and his wife-of-six-years have given an emotional and honest interview to The Mirror, telling the world just how difficult it is adjusting to life with autism.
Popular TV host Paddy, 43, told the paper that: “Some days, it feels like you’re slowly drowning. It’s like you’re under water desperately swimming up to get oxygen, but never getting there.” Paddy said that coping with Leo and Penelope’s autism has affected his own happiness and he is constantly concerned for the twins.
He said: "Every parent just wants their child to be happy and to protect them. I should be the happiest I have ever been with my career, family and friends, but I can honestly say I am never happy in myself now. I constantly worry about them. I would give up everything to take this condition away from them.”
Paddy and Christine spoke to the paper in order to increase awareness for families living with autism. Christine explained that she tries to think positively about their condition and that while she knows there is no cure, she believes that by raising awareness and understanding of autism it will help her children. The couple went on to say that one of the hardest problems they face is the twins’ difficulties playing with other children and their sister Felicity, nine months.
However, Christine reveals that the twins have made significant progress over the past year. The mum-of-three says: “Every day our heart breaks,” says Christine, “but then they come and ask for something with words they couldn’t use a year ago and it’s fixed again.” Paddy said all they want is for their children to be happy and he refuses to let autism define them.
Just this week, Paddy and Christine told The Mirror in another interview at their initial anger at the twins’ diagnosis. "We'd been to see a paediatrician and at the end she said quite casually, 'I'm absolutely certain both the children have autism,'" Christine, 28, explained. "I was so angry with her. How dare she say that about my children, having only seen them for a few hours?” Christine explained that she has since told the doctor about her reaction and ‘she's been absolutely lovely’. The mum said she was stunned at first although now looking back the twins’ autism was clear to see.