Christine McGuinness announced that she, like her three children, had been diagnosed with autism – and after husband Paddy suspected it for years.
The Blackpool-born television personality and model made the admission in her new book Christine McGuinness: A Beautiful Nightmare, with excerpts taken from The mirror.
The 33-year-old mother of twins Leo and Penelope, eight, and five-year-old Felic, was diagnosed in August after she was invited to meet Simon Baron-Cohen, the director of the university’s Autism Research Center Cambridge.
CONTINUE READING:Christine McGuinness on her tragic childhood, rape and alcohol
Christine and Top Gear and Question of Sport presenter Paddy both completed an AQ questionnaire designed to measure a person’s expression of autism spectrum traits.
The Real Housewives of Cheshire stated that the scale ranges from 0 to 50, and the average neurotypical person scores around 15 points, which Paddy did while theirs was 36.
Christine said that Paddy had told her that after “little hints” he had suspected for years that she was autistic and that she was more like her children than she “could ever have imagined”.
Seen in an excerpt from The mirrorChristine wrote: âMy problems with eating, my social struggles, my indecision. The way I float through life reminds me of how my eldest daughter Penelope is doing. It all makes sense now.
âAnd as much as this news doesn’t surprise me, it was still emotional for me to accept it, but it’s also quite a relief.
âThose two weeks between finding out that I had done well on the test and my official diagnosis from Simon were a tumultuous whirlwind of excitement and trying to process the notion that I might be autistic. Sir Simon quickly got rid of my misery and affirmed that I am autistic and not just mild – I am pretty high on the spectrum.
“It was a lot to take and when my appointment was over I burst into tears. I think it’s because the news conjured up a mixture of emotions and although I’m not totally shocked and it’s a relief,” I’m just really sad for the younger me.
âI didn’t graduate from GCSEs because of my poor concentration and hatred of my school. I was more than able to take the exams, but I just couldn’t be in this exam room.
âI remember so clearly … everyone was sitting at individual desks throughout the room. I could hear people scribbling their pens on the exam papers and every page envelope sounded like the beat of a drum. I just sat there and did nothing, didn’t lift my pen.
“What made it even more difficult was that after a while I was staring into space, that the teacher yelled at me and asked to leave the room. I burst into tears and that was it.
âAfter the appointment, I made my way home to Cheshire thinking of Patrick.
“I wasn’t sure how he would react, but when I told him he said he expected it and suspected I had been autistic for years – he never thought of telling me. Patrick was always himself aware that I was a little different. ” and had my little quirks, but he never really understood what it was.
“There are times when he is really frustrated with me, for example when it takes me hours to get ready. Not even when I have completely dressed up, but simple things like between two simple T-shirts choose and not be able to. ” Deciding which to wear One perfect scenario to explain my autism to you is one of my loves, dirty dancing.
“As a teenager, I would watch it repeatedly every night, over and over.
“When I met Patrick at 19, he noticed that I was wearing Dirty Dancing pajamas and I told him this was my favorite movie.
By my 21st he knew I didn’t want a big party and I didn’t have any friends to invite to Westende anyway.
âWhen it came to the film, I knew all the dialogues, the whole script from top to bottom. So when we saw this theater show, it was different from the first line. It wasn’t my baby and Johnny.
“I really struggled with that. The music was nice and the dancing was fantastic, but the plot was a little different and I haven’t seen the movie since (sorry, Patrick).
âAnd it’s crazy when I think about the fact that in my 20s I never had a single night – not one. I didn’t have a hen party, I didn’t have a 16th, 18th, 21st or 30. For me, that’s normal .
âI’ve found every single excuse not to leave the house and socialize. I now understand that it’s because I’m autistic and it’s a lot easier to stay home and not have to deal with the real world when you have autism.
âI’m the best version of myself when I’m with my kids, and that’s probably because we’re all autistic. The four of us are pretty happy staying at home and sometimes not talking about it, my autistic mind really goes into high gear.
âFor example, if I go to a hotel room, and it makes perfect sense to me now, but I’m going to rearrange the whole room.
“Even my eating problems, which I’ve had all my life, now make sense to me.
âI’ve only tried green foods like broccoli for the past few years. I can eat it because I know I need to be healthy, but I have until my 30th autistic age prefer beige food.
âMy autistic traits can range from dislikes to patterns, or my problems with eating to something really social, like making friends.
âI try to see my diagnosis as positive – at least I know it for sure.
“In fact, there are many benefits to being autistic, just like with the three children.
âI’m very creative and artistic, and I enjoy doing handicrafts and painting with the children.
âIn fact, art was the only lesson that I enjoyed at school.
“One of my best qualities is that I’m very open to people and I think I’m really nice. It’s something my kids have too.
“I bet you wish you didn’t have children,” someone once told me. How disgusting is that. I couldn’t believe it. Well actually no, they are still my kids and I love them so much and I am so happy to have them.
“After I’ve had some time to digest my diagnosis, there are a few things I can learn from it.
âNot only is this a great relief and I understand myself better than ever, but I am sure that my children can benefit from it too. We haven’t told them yet that they are autistic. But now it has been confirmed that I am, the fact that they are like mom can only make it easier if we talk to them about it.
“And in true Christine fashion, I’ve thought too much since my diagnosis.
“I’m really worried about changing because I don’t want to.
“I think I’m fine, but I’ve led a life very suitable for an autistic person.
âEverything was a slow runner – Patrick’s career, our relationship – which is great for me because I would have had a hard time coping with a sudden big change.
“Another worry is that people will treat me differently because of it.
âI don’t want my fellow human beings to keep saying, ‘Let’s make sure Christine is okay.’
âI hope my diagnosis will do a lot of good and it could inspire all of the women reading this who are not sure of themselves.
“I am married, have children and work, which many people doubt whether an autistic person can do that.
“But I am living proof that with a little courage, resilience and a supportive family you can achieve anything, even if it is not easy.”
Pre-order Christine McGuinness: A Beautiful Nightmare (MSRP Â£ 20, November 25th) and save Â£ 5 with Promo Code XA9. Order online at spiegelbÃ¼cher.de
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