CHRISTINE McGuinness has revealed strangers have demanded to see her autistic twins’ disabled parking badge.
The 31-year-old wife of TV star Paddy appeared on BBC Breakfast today to discuss the need for Blue Badges for people with hidden disabilities because she has only been able to get one for her son with autism and hypermobility.
Christine and Paddy’s twins Penelope and Leo, five, were diagnosed in November 2017. Their youngest Felicity, three, has been displaying signs of autism too.
Speaking today, Christine said of the badge: “It makes a huge difference, we’ve only had it for six months but we’ve got so many hospital appointments it just makes it a lot easier to park there.
“It’s a lot safer for the children. My children don’t have much sense of danger at all when it comes to road safety, so they might freeze in the middle of the car park, or they might just run. Other people might look at them and think, ‘that child’s being naughty’, or ‘woman, control your children.’”
However, Christine – who is the full time carer for the kids while Paddy is at work – has been approached by rude strangers who have quizzed her about using a disabled parking bay.
She revealed: “Nine out of ten times I’ll be questioned on why I’m parked there, am I entitled to use that badge, which one [of the twins] is disabled, and I’ve found myself having to calmly explained that actually my children are autistic and you might not be able to see it, but if I wasn’t parked here we’d be in a different situation right now.
“They’re not comfortable being approached by complete strangers so that makes it even worse. It’s just so hard because this isn’t something we want, it’s something we need. It’s not a golden ticket, I don’t want to be using these spaces, I need it for the safety of my children.”
Christine continued: “These are random people, the general public will ask, ‘why are you parked in that space? Can I have a look at your Blue Badge?’ It’s so frustrating because if I can, I’ll park in a parent-child space, but then they’re often taken up – that’s a whole other subject with people who haven’t even got children.
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“Just last weekend I took the children out, I was on my own, I have bags full of all their things – I have to take a whole medical kit with me – I have three young children, all three of them have no awareness of the dangers, and every disabled space was full.
“There was five spaces and only one of those cars had a Blue Badge. I found myself in quite a dangerous situation where one child froze in the middle of the car park, one ran off, and one just wandered about completely oblivious, and it’s so dangerous.”
She added: “It’s really difficult, for us we’ve got so much on our hands, we’re just trying to make life easier for ourselves. I just want to get the children in and out safely to where we’re going.”
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