Christmas treeOur ambassador, Christine McGuinness, has posted a picture of her autistic twins Leo and Penelope with their three-year-old sister Felicity on Instagram standing around the sparkling tree today.

She wrote: “I am the proudest mummy, I can’t believe my babies are happy around our Christmas tree. Christmas is always a very difficult time of year for us.

“Our children can get overwhelmed, upset with all the changes everywhere, the lack of school routine, they get overstimulated and anxious meaning daily meltdowns are a given.

“This year I am preparing more than ever, visiting Christmas displays as much as possible (even if we only last five minutes) .. choosing decorations for our tree together, using visual calendars, reading stories about Christmas, even watching Peppa Pig's Christmas on repeat.”

She added: “So far they are coping amazing and we have managed to put a tree up at home without any upset for the first time in years!

“Now, somehow I just need to keep this whole calm, prep, structured Christmas feel around for the next 2 weeks!”

Christine had earlier told New magazine that she and Paddy hadn’t put up a tree for six years.

She said: “Our house at Christmas, it sounds dead boring, but there’s not a lot going on. Any change for the children can be quite upsetting.

“They love lights, but when it’s in a sensory situation – when we change our house and put baubles and lights up – it’s too much for them.

“Plus, school is closed and there’s no routine, which can really upset our children.

“We haven’t had a Christmas tree in the past six years.”

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