Christine McGuinness has bravely opened up about parenting three children with autism, revealing she "blamed herself" for her kids being on the spectrum. The Real Housewives of Cheshire star, 32, was shocked to discover her youngest daughter Felicity, three, had autism, just three years after her twins Leo and Penelope, six, were diagnosed with it. Paddy McGuinness' wife heartbreakingly confessed she questioned her own ability as a mother and felt she was doing a "rubbish job".
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Speaking on MTV podcast Nappy Days, Christine said: "It's hard enough being a mum but when you have children with additional needs, it's daunting. You wing it at first. You make mistakes but that's just natural. But I didn't know they had autism at first because I didn't know anything about autism."
Christine and Paddy's children - twins Leo and Penelope, six, and Felicity, three – all have autism
Talking about her experience with the twins, she explained: "They didn't speak. They were non-verbal, they'd walk on their tiptoes, they were sensitive to sound and light. So if there was a sudden noise, they would jump out their skin. But I thought they were just softies. I would think maybe it's because they are twins, two of them, or that I would not be giving them enough attention. So I blamed myself."
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Due to Top Gear host Paddy's busy work schedule, Christine was often alone at home with their kids and began to wonder whether their trouble with social skills was her fault.
"They were with me permanently. My husband works away a lot so I thought maybe it was me and that I hadn't taught them very well. They also never went to nursery or playgroups so I blamed myself for them having no social skills. I thought that it was down to me doing a rubbish job as a mother", she admitted. Keep it up Christine, we think you're doing an amazing job!
Christine worried she hadn't been teaching the kids properly while husband Paddy was away
Autism is a developmental disability that affects communication and behaviour. People with the condition may find it hard to interact with other people, get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events and take longer to understand information.
SEE MORE: Who is Paddy McGuinness' wife Christine?
During an appearance on Loose Women earlier this year, Christine said she was "relieved" when Felicity was revealed to have autism too. She told hosts Coleen Nolan, Andrea McLean, Denise Welch and Jane Moore that she had spotted the signs ever since her youngest child was six months old. The model said: "It's different now, we were actually prepared for the third one as we saw the signs, we were more prepared this time."
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