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Paddy McGuinness breaks down in tears as he says autistic kids ‘won the lottery’ by getting mum like Christine


PADDY McGuinness broke down in tears as he described how his autistic kids “won the lottery” by getting a mum like Christine.

In a series of powerful scenes in Paddy And Christine McGuinness: Our Family And Autism, the 48-year-old opens up about his twins, Leo and Penelope, eight, and five-year-old Felicity’s diagnosis, which may mean they never know how much he loves them.


Emotional Paddy McGuiness broke down in tears in a new documentary[/caption]


He opens up about life with his autistic children[/caption]

With tears streaming down his face Paddy says: “Our kids dropped the lottery with Christine because they couldn’t wish for a better mum.”

While all three children have an autism diagnosis, Paddy points out they have very distinct per­sonalities and different challenges.

He says: “Leo’s autism is much more obvious than Penelope and Felicity’s.”

The show sees Paddy and wife Christine admit that four years after the twins’ diagnosis they still struggle to understand the “complicated disability that affects how you see and interact with the world”.

Like many autistic children, they struggle with the taste and texture of many foods, and Paddy reveals Leo was once so malnourish­ed doctors considered putting a feeding tube into his stomach.

The eight-year-olds have the under­standing of four-year-olds and “that gap seems to get wider with age”, Paddy says.

He worries how they will cope at secondary school and wheth­er they will ever live independently.

Choking back tears, he says: “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?’”

Paddy also reveals how the weight of it all made him spiral into a depression that saw him end up in therapy.

He says: “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 for ever. There’s no ‘they’ll get better as the years go on’.

“In that whole haze of clinical depression, if you’d have given me the chance to take autism away from my children, I would have said ‘yeah’ but autism is part of who they are, so why would I want to take away a part of my children which I love?

“I wasn’t unhappy for me. I was just stressed with the whole thing but I worked my 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 And Christine McGuinness: Our Family And Autism, BBC1, tonight at 9pm.
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    Paddy praises his wife Christine for all she does for their family[/caption]

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