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Christine McGuinness celebrates huge Christmas milestone with autistic children

Christine shares three children with husband Paddy McGuinness

christine mcguinness
Jenni McKnight
Jenni McKnightUS Lifestyle Editor
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Christine McGuinness is well and truly in the festive spirit after revealing she has put up her first Christmas tree in six years! The 31-year-old, who is married to TV star Paddy McGuinness, revealed that this is the first year the family are able to have one because they previously "overwhelmed" her autistic twins, Leo and Penelope, six. Christine shared a gorgeous photo on Instagram on Monday of the twins alongside their younger sister Felicity, three, standing in front of their huge sparkling tree. Captioning the image, she wrote: "I am the proudest mummy, I can’t believe my babies are happy around our Christmas tree. Christmas is always a very difficult time of year for us, our children can get overwhelmed, upset with all the changes everywhere, the lack of school routine, they get overstimulated and anxious meaning daily meltdowns are a given."

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The twins were diagnosed with autism in 2017

She continued: "This year I am preparing more than ever, visiting Christmas displays as much as possible (even if we only last five minutes) choosing decorations for our tree together, using visual calendars, reading stories about Christmas, even watching Peppa Pig's Christmas on repeat. So far they are coping amazing and we have managed to put a tree up at home without any upset for the first time in years! Now, somehow I just need to keep this whole calm, prep, structured Christmas feel around for the next two weeks!"

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The mum-of-three previously revealed that her home hadn't had a Christmas tree in six years. "Our house at Christmas, it sounds dead boring, but there's not a lot going on. Any change for the children can be quite upsetting," she told new! magazine, adding: "They love lights, but when it's in a sensory situation - when we change our house and put baubles and lights up - it's too much for them. Plus, school is closed and there's no routine, which can really upset our children. We haven't had a Christmas tree in the past six years."

Leo and Penelope were diagnosed with autism in 2017 and according to Christine, Felicity is also showing signs but can't be diagnosed until she's at least three or four.

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