Model Christine McGuinness has shared a snap of her family’s Christmas tree on Instagram and revealed it’s the first time in years they have put one up.
The mum-of-three, 31, whose husband is comedian and Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness, told followers she normally avoids putting a tree up as it can leave her kids feeling “overstimulated and anxious”.
Christine and Paddy’s eldest, six-year-old twins Leo and Penelope, both have autism. And earlier this year, they spoke about their youngest, three-year-old Felicity, starting to show signs of having the disorder.
Taking to Instagram on Monday (09.12.19), Christine said she felt like “the proudest mummy” because she had managed to get the tree up “for the first time in years”, as Christmas is “always very difficult” for the family.
She wrote in the caption: “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.
“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.”
Getting her little ones used to the trappings of Christmas, Christine explained, had worked wonders – and the three of them were “coping amazing”.
I am the proudest mummy, I can’t believe my babies are happy around our Christmas tree.
She continued: “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!”
Paddy and Christine have been open about their struggles in the past, as they hope to broaden the conversation around autism and educate people who know little about the disorder.
1. Just had a deep breathe and walk away moment. Dropped my little ones off at a play centre. Parked in a disability space while they got out. Had all our relevant disability badges on display only for some bell end to come over and tell us that we don’t look disabled? #ignorance
— Paddy McGuinness (@PaddyMcGuinness) November 3, 2019
Unfortunately, last month they were forced to blast an ignorant man who confronted them when they parked in a disabled space.
On Twitter, Paddy fumed about the incident and slammed the “ignorant tool” who told his family they “don’t look disabled”.
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