Christine McGuinness reveals how she spotted signs of autism in youngest child at only six months old
17 February 2020, 14:31 | Updated: 17 February 2020, 14:43
Christine opened up on the ITV daytime panel show about her and Paddy's three autistic children.
On today's episode of Loose Women, the panellists welcomed Christine McGuinness who bravely opened up about her youngest daughter Felicity's autism diagnosis.
As well as three-year-old Felicity, Christine, 31, and TV presenter husband Paddy's twins Leo and Penelope, six, are on the autistic spectrum, and the former Real Housewives of Cheshire star revealed that it was a relief seeing her youngest being diagnosed, as she'd spotted the signs from when she was as young as six months.
When asked by the panel - which consisted of Coleen Nolan, Andrea McLean, Denise Welch and Jane Moore - why exactly she used the world "relieved" to describe the diagnosis, Christine said: "Because i understand it more now.
"The first time around with the twins, it was a shock we didn't know anything about it.
"All we knew then is that they would have trouble through life and things would be a little harder for them."
She continued: "It's different now, we were actually prepared for the third one as we saw the signs, we were more prepared this time."
Christine was then asked what signs she had spotted in Felicity that made her and Paddy realise she was also on the spectrum, and she revealed: "The most common is delayed speech or a child being completely non verbal, which all three [children] had.
"Really sensitive to smells, sounds textures and so on, they love routine, don't like change, they're really resilient to change."
Again, model Christine reiterated that it was a "relief" that all three children have the diagnosis "as they can come across as difficult children.
"I wanted them to have it before they started school", added the star.
She went on to explain that she'd seen the signs in Felicity very early on: "I saw it in Felicity when she was six months old, it's more common if it's already in your family."
"Some [children] are really late being diagnosed, however with us, with all three children it was pretty obvious.
"I didn't know the symptoms with the twins, but now looking back at some of our family videos it was really obvious."
She joked about thinking "they were really cute when they were tiptoeing!" back then, before she and Paddy realised it was a symptom of autism.
Christine also explained that although autism is more common in boys, "girls display it differently and can hide it a lot more".
She advised parents who were spotting similar symptoms in their children to "first speak to your health visitor or GP, and then when they start school you can get the ball rolling with support there."