Christine McGuinness hopes to use her own autism diagnosis to show people how wide a spectrum it can be.
All three of her children, eight-year-old twins Penelope and Leo, and Felicity, five, who she shares with her husband Paddy McGuinness, also have autism.
The model, 33, has always been extremely upfront about the difficulties of parenting three children with autism.
McGuinness said she was shocked when she was diagnosed with autism, all while writing her new book: A Beautiful Nightmare, published by Mirror Books, which is available for pre-order from mirrorbooks.co.uk.
Speaking to OK! magazine, she said, “We need to show autism is on a really huge spectrum, and there are people who will need full-time support because of it, but then there are people like me, who appear to be fine and appear to be coping.
“I keep thinking about how I can explain this to people, and the only similarity I can come up with is I feel like a swan on the outside, with this quite calm exterior, but their feet are always flapping under the water, which is kind of how I feel on the inside.”
“I feel shaky and jittery an awful lot, especially when I’m going out to busy places,” she continued, “It’s important those with milder autism don’t just get left to it, because they appear fine – on the inside they could be really struggling.”
McGuinness has always proclaimed that she will not let her children’s autism get in their or her way.
“I’ve always been really positive about my children anyway and believed they will achieve whatever they want,” she shared.
“Yes, they’re going to need extra support to get there, but they are getting it, so that’s great. I think it’s important we don’t take away too much from severely autistic children and adults, because one autistic person does not define autism.
“I wouldn’t want anyone to look at me and say, “That’s not what autism is, because my child is 18 and can’t work or can’t speak.”