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Sunday 15th December 2019

Christine McGuinness reveals how she and Paddy taught their autistic children to speak

They began talking at four-and-a-half

Christine McGuinness has opened up about her twins' autism and revealed how she and husband Paddy taught them to speak.

The former model explained that their twins Penelope and Leo, six, didn't begin talking until they were four-and-a-half.

She has revealed their first words were: "Night night, I love you."

Every parent loves a bit of peace and quiet but a silent child can be heartbreaking.
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You to me are everything ❤️❤️❤️ #ProudMummy #MyTrio #LOVE

A post shared by Christine McGuinness (@mrscmcguinness) on

Christine, who also has two-year-old Felicity, explained it was a special picture system called PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) that helped their twins to talk.

In a new Instagram post, she admitted that their silence was often "heartbreaking" for her.

She posted: "And this was how we learned to say "night night, I love you". PECS opened up a little world of communication for us when our children were non-verbal. Eventually, aged 4 and a half.. one word at a time "night night, I love you" was their first sentence.

"I'm so grateful (even when they shout at each other) that I get to hear my children's voices. Every parent loves a bit of peace and quiet but a silent child can be heartbreaking."

View this post on Instagram

And this was how we learned to say “night night, I love you” ❤️❤️❤️ PECS opened up a little world of communication for us when our children were non-verbal. Eventually, aged 4 and a half.. one word at a time “night night I love you” was their first sentence ❤️ I’m so grateful (even when they shout at each other) that I get to hear my children’s voices. Every parent loves a bit of peace and quiet but a silent child can be heartbreaking. If you are waiting for that magical moment, I am thinking of you, praying for you 🙏 never stop believing. . . . Communication & PECS Cards - The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) allows children and adults that struggle with communication to speak using pictures and communication cards. Using PECS a person with special needs such as autism is able to initiate conversation or communicate simple requests in a way that they ordinarily wouldn't be able to. #Autism #AutismAwareness #ASD #PECS #NonVerbalAutism #VerbalAutism #LOVE #Communication #magic #Ability #ProudMummy

A post shared by Christine McGuinness (@mrscmcguinness) on

The couple took their children to a paediatrician when they were three-and-a-half because their speech was delayed. They were then diagnosed with autism.

Christine added that she hopes the system can help others experiencing the same issues.

Read more: Christine McGuinness reveals two-year-old daughter is showing signs of autism

She continued: "If you are waiting for that magical moment, I am thinking of you, praying for you, never stop believing.

"Communication & PECS Cards - The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) allows children and adults that struggle with communication to speak using pictures and communication cards. Using PECS a person with special needs such as autism is able to initiate conversation or communicate simple requests in a way that they ordinarily wouldn't be able to."

Comedian and presenter Paddy recently opened up about their struggles as a family.

They have three young children together (Credit: Hewitt / SplashNews.com)

Read more: Christine McGuinness says she's the "heaviest" and "happiest" she's ever been after past eating disorder

Speaking about their twins, Paddy told The Mirror last month: "With autism you can feel as though you're on your own, the world is against you. You're like, 'God, everyone else has got it easy'. There's lots of things we can't do – we can't even go on a family holiday together.

"But when you start speaking about it, other people get in touch and say, 'I thought it was just me, I'm in that position too.'"

He added: "Someone who's considered to be a celebrity, who has a fantastic life and a good job and everything else – if they're struggling, what chance has everyone else got? I want to put it out there, show there is light at the end of the tunnel."

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