Christine and Paddy McGuinness are set to open up their family life and show what it’s like to have three children diagnosed with autism in a new BBC documentary.
The one-off programme, Autism and Our Family, will follow comedian and presenter Paddy, his wife Christine, and their three young children to lift the lid on what multiple diagnoses can mean for a family.
The McGuinness’ twins Leo and Penelope, seven, were diagnosed with autism in 2017, and last year the family were told that youngest daughter Felicity, four, also had the disorder.
Speaking recently to the Lockdown Parenting Hell podcast, Paddy explained that he hoped doing the documentary would encourage other parents in the same position to seek help.
He said: “(People think) He’s on telly and got money so he shouldn’t have those sorts of worries’ – but I do. It’s just important as much information you can get out there about anything like that is a help.”
Talking about how seeing other families dealing with additional needs had helped him, he added: “For me as parent who has children with additional needs, you feel, a little bit, that everyone else is having a really good time apart from you.
“When I see other people in the same situation or people, in a weird and perverse way, worse off than you, you kind of feel ‘oh, at least I’m not dealing with that’. Weirdly it makes them feel a bit better or they’re not on your own with this.”
The McGuinnesses often share the realities of parenting autistic children on their social media accounts and Christine has spoken out in the past about struggling with other people’s prejudices against her family.
Last year, the family contributed to Channel 5 cartoon Daisy and Ollie for World Autism Day, helping to advise on an episode that included an autistic character and his difficulties in adjusting to new people.
Recently, Katie Price and her eldest son Harvey also featured in a BBC documentary about their family life, Katie Price: Harvey and Me.
It followed Price’s struggle in finding a residential college for Harvey to move to as an adult, and showed her meeting other families who had gone down the same route.