Christine McGuinness has revealed how clothes helped her cope with her undiagnosed autism. Model and author Christine had to wait until she was 33 to discover she had the condition, which impacts the behaviour of different people in different ways.
It can affect social interaction, ability to understanding other’s feelings, and can result in being overwhelmed by bright lights or loud noises, and more.
In Christine’s case, it affected her ability to cope with change – leaving her feeling anxious or upset.
But she turned to particular items of clothing – such as a beloved hoodie – to give her the consistency she needed in order to get through unfamiliar situations.
Christine, 35, said: “I have a grey hoodie which is particularly important to me because of the way the sleeves pull over my hands to comfort me.
“And because it has a deep hood, which is perfect to hide into, when it gets too noisy while travelling.”
She spoke about her experiences after teaming up with Vanish and its charity partner, “Ambitious About Autism”, to promote a new campaign, “Me, My Autism & I”.
An exhibition will take place at [email protected], from March 29 to April 2, following the launch of the new campaign, which raises awareness of autism, and shows the importance of clothing lasting longer to autistic people.
Christine added: “I struggled with autism for the majority of my life without realising it, but there was something consistently present – I didn’t like change.
“It’s something I noticed from the clothes I was wearing to the routines I was keeping.”
These revelations follow research of 517 children with autism, by Vanish, which is raising awareness of the condition and how clothing helps those with it.
The study found for 81 percent, wearing familiar clothing directly affects their mood.
Christine added: “Every autistic person is unique but for many of us, change is a big deal, and clothing can make or break the day-to-day for some autistic people when we rely on it for consistency and familiarity.”
On this note, 75 percent of the youngsters polled said consistency over how clothing items look, smell, and feel is “important” to them.
And 73 percent revealed garments help them regulate their senses.
Cigdem Kurtulus, of Reckitt, makers of Vanish, said: “Making clothes last longer matters for us all, but for some it really matters.
“Clothes aren’t just an item, they’re a lifeline for many people’s everyday lives, helping them feel comfortable and safe.
“As a brand, it’s our ongoing mission to ensure clothes stay true to new for longer, extending the garments’ life after washing.”