Christine McGuinness has shared that, like her three children, she is also autistic!
Christine McGuinness has publicly campaigned for autism awareness after her three children (Leo and Penelope, eight, and five-year-old Felicity) were all diagnosed with autism.
Now, at the age of 33, Christine has revealed that she, too, is autistic - which came as no surprise to many autism advocates who have noted hints when Christine has discussed her childhood over the past few years! It also highlights the genetic element behind autism, as Christine is one of an increasing number of parents diagnosed after their own child(ren).
In The Mirror's exclusive extract from her new book, Christine McGuinness: A Beautiful Nightmare, she discusses how she feels looking back at her childhood missing out on a diagnosis and support and reveals that her husband Paddy knew all along...
"I have been confirmed as autistic. It’s strange, but I’ve noticed there are little hints throughout my life that I’m autistic and more like my children than I ever could have imagined.
My issues with food, my social struggles, how hard I find it to make friends and stay focused, and my indecisiveness. The way I float through life reminds me of how my eldest daughter Penelope is.
It all makes sense now. And as much as I’m not totally surprised, it’s still been emotional for me to accept, but it’s a relief as well."
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We are absolutely over the moon that Christine finally has the answers to so many questions that she has had about herself in life. In our online parenting community, we have a number of autistic parents and parents with other forms of neurodiversity, so its great to have a public figure to show as a shining example that there is no 'look' to autism, and it is a diverse spectrum too.
Where to find support if you suspect you're an autistic adult
If Christine's story has struck a chord with you, and you have children who are neurodiverse (whether formally diagnosed or suspected), or perhaps other relatives who are, then first of all, you're not alone, and you're not 'imagining things'.
Awareness of autism presentation has certainly improved since the days that Christine was at school! Autism and ADHD can present differently and less 'stereotypically' in girls and women at times, as stated on the NHS website here, and due to improved awareness of this, more and more adults are now seeking a diagnosis of their own after experiencing difficulties growing up, and quite often after their OWN children are given an autism diagnosis! Masking is one of the biggest barriers that girls and women face, and Christine has been frank about this when discussing her diagnosis.
If you're keen to book in for a formal assessment, you can find out how to here. Many adults worry about being accused of seeking 'labels' - a diagnosis is an answer to questions that you've always had about yourself, opens doors for more understanding and support, and often brings closure for unresolved trauma. It isn't a 'label', but it is absolutely your choice to pursue a diagnosis if you wish to.
Resources for autistic adults
Here are some really useful resources for adults who suspect that they may be on the autistic spectrum, or who have had a diagnosis but would like more guidance.
- Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- National Autistic Society - Autism in Women and Girls
- BBC News article
- The New York Times article
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