Exclusive: Christine McGuinness on feeling 'very, very lucky' to have autistic children
The most important role in life for Christine McGuinness is being a mother to her nine-year-old twins, Leo and Penelope, and six-year-old daughter Felicity with Top Gear presenter and comedian Paddy McGuinness."That's what I was born to do. And they were born to be my children," she says of her three children, who are autistic. "I'm very, very lucky that I've got three autistic children because they can support each other," she says. "They've always someone who can be with them."MORE: Princess Kate beams as she cradles Prince Louis in new Mother's Day portrait"Leo is very happy, very funny and very intelligent. Penelope is the most sweet, peaceful little girl and extremely creative. And Felicity is the wild one, very strong-minded, knows what she wants and is very decisive."All three of them are unique, and all have different challenges and different things to celebrate," she adds, proudly. Christine, 34, who split up from her husband Paddy last year after 11 years of marriage, received an autism diagnosis herself when she was 31. Christine McGuinness says her most important role is being a mumDescribing herself as "a one-man band trying to save the world" she's now on a mission to educate and inform about autism.It is why the model, autism ambassador and former Real Housewife of Cheshire has written her first children's book, Amazing Me, Amazing You, a bright, colourful picture book with messages of kindness, friendship and diversity, which she says is "for everyone" but mainly for "neurodiverse children, especially autistic children, to feel well represented, and for other children to be more understanding of their peers." Amazing Me Amazing You by Christine McGuinness, from £6.49 on AmazonSHOP NOWAutism, she says, "is simply a different way of thinking and seeing the world, a different way of hearing, listening, communicating and socialising. My brain is different from others. But knowing what brain you’ve got helps you navigate differently."SEE: Princess Eugenie shares adorable new photo with son August in heart-warming Mother's Day tributeDespite a difficult, stressful year, she has risen to meet all the challenges of not only writing a book but making a BBC documentary about her condition, Christine McGuinness: Unmasking my Autism."I can say I’ve done incredibly well in the last year because I’ve done something that was really important to me, whilst juggling life."Amazing Me, Amazing You by Christine McGuinness, illustrated by Hannah Jayne Lewin, is out now (Scholastic).To read the full article, pick up the latest issue of HELLO! on sale now. Subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.