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06th Jan 2022

Christine McGuinness says her autism diagnosis “kind of makes sense”

Katy Brennan

She said it’s a huge relief.

Christine McGuinness has opened up about how being diagnosed with autism as an adult has been a very positive thing for her.

The reality TV star first announced her diagnosis back in November, revealing that she broke down in floods of tears upon hearing the news, feeling sad for her younger self.

She has now described finding out as a “huge relief” and something that has helped her understand why she struggled throughout her life.

Speaking to Channel 5 News, the 33-year-old said being aware of her autism in life has helped her massively.

“It’s been a huge relief, it’s really helped me understand why I am the way I am, why I’ve struggled throughout my whole life.

“It kind of makes sense as to why I have got three autistic children. It’s been a huge positive for me.

“Right through school I really struggled, I never really had many friends and I still don’t have many friends now.

“I struggle with change, I struggle with food, sensory issues, clothes, labels, being in busy places. It’s everything – I ticked a lot of boxes, I am surprised it wasn’t picked up a lot earlier.”

Christine said she had initially worried that her diagnosis would affect her work in a negative way – but it has actually been nothing but beneficial.

“It’s really helped…not long after I got my diagnosis I started filming a TV show and it was the first time I had to spend time with people that I didn’t know and we were expected to interact all day and make conversation, eat together, all these things that I have really struggled with.

“Understanding that I was struggling because I’m autistic, I was able to just speak to them and say, ‘Listen, every now and again I’m going to have a little bit of time-out’.

“If I hadn’t have had my diagnosis before that, I would have been panicking thinking that I look really unsocial.

“It’s been really positive being able to say, ‘It’s going to help me if I can just do this’.”

Christine and her husband, Top Gear’s Paddy McGuinness, are parents to Felicity, Leo, and Penelope, all three of whom have autism.

They recently filmed a documentary with BBC which explored their family’s experience of autism.