Christine McGuinness has revealed that she’s often been questioned when using her disabled badge to park with her twin boys, who have autism.
The Real Housewives of Cheshire star, 31, spoke on BBC Breakfast about the importance of Blue Badges for people with hidden disabilities.
Christine was speaking specifically about using the badge with her son Leo, who has autism and hypermobility.
She said, “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.’”
Christine then admitted she’s been left ‘frustrated’ because strangers have ‘demanded’ to see her Blue Badge.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”