EXCLUSIVE ‘We discussed putting a peg in his stomach’: Christine McGuinness reveals her autistic son Leo, 8, was ‘seriously underweight’ due to oversensitivity towards food
Christine McGuinness has revealed her autistic son Leo became ‘seriously underweight’ because of his sensitivity towards food.
The 34-year-old model has previously shared the struggles she has faced with twins Penelope and Leo, eight, and Felicity, six, who have all been diagnosed with the condition.
The mother-of-three has now detailed how Leo’s constant vomiting began ‘affecting his health’ as he struggled to keep certain food down.
‘It was affecting his health’: Christine McGuinness has revealed her son Leo was ‘seriously underweight’ due to autism making hime over sensitive with food
Children with Autism can have differing sensory systems, meaning they can be over sensitive to certain foods.
Christine said: ‘Everything is trial and error, and we had a discussion with our doctors over Leo, so ours are all really over sensitive with food – the taste, the smell, the texture.
‘We had vomit after vomit for years. It felt like we’d feed them, and then we’d clean it up to the point where Leo was seriously underweight, and it was affecting his health.’
The star often posts sweet images of her children, being open to her followers about how the family copes with their autism.
Struggle: The 34-year-old model has previously shared the struggles she faces with twins Penelope and Leo, eight, and Felicity, six, who have all been diagnosed with autism.
She added: ‘He wasn’t getting the right vitamins and we discussed putting a peg in [the stomach], and just having that conversation at the time – I remember it being heart-breaking.
‘And we didn’t have to go that route, and even now they still eat very limited, but they eat enough, and he has vitamins and milk shakes to help him get everything he needs.’
The former Real Housewives of Cheshire personality was diagnosed with autism last year, and shares her three children on the spectrum with husband Paddy, 48.
Paddy and Christine have been married since 2011, after meeting at a Liverpool Tennis Tournament in 2007.
Christine said: ‘We had vomit after vomit for years. It felt like we’d feed them, and then we’d clean it up to the point where Leo was seriously underweight, and it was affecting his health.’
Christine recalled what people have previously asked her: ‘People say to us all the time, ‘How do you cope with three autistic children?’ But we don’t know any different.
‘When ours were really young – I was the full-time carer and stayed at home.
‘Fortunately, I was able to do that because my husband worked so much, but it was absolutely exhausting juggling appointments and going to speech and language therapy, and it takes over your life. It is absolutely exhausting, but you kind of just do it, because you have to – you’ve got to.’
Power couple: The former Real Housewives of Cheshire personality was diagnosed with autism last year, and shares three children on the spectrum with husband Paddy, 48
She went on explain one of the ways they’ve learned to keep themselves and their children relaxed.
Christine said: ‘Music is an incredible thing. It does help you to kind of switch off, and you don’t think about all the other stresses and therefore I think children act a little bit better, and they’re more relaxed. For us music therapy is thing in our house.
‘Paddy’s not over the moon with the music therapy, but I love music. I think it’s the repetitiveness which I love.’
Family Time: The mum-of-three often posts sweet images of her children, being open to her followers about how the family deals with autism
THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF AUTISM
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with autism have trouble with social, emotional and communication skills that usually develop before the age of three and last throughout a person’s life.
Specific signs of autism include:
- Reactions to smell, taste, look, feel or sound are unusual
- Difficulty adapting to changes in routine
- Unable to repeat or echo what is said to them
- Difficulty expressing desires using words or motions
- Unable to discuss their own feelings or other people’s
- Difficulty with acts of affection like hugging
- Prefer to be alone and avoid eye contact
- Difficulty relating to other people
- Unable to point at objects or look at objects when others point to them