Paul Scholes is a former football player who admitted that it was difficult for him to accept his son’s autism diagnosis. At one time, Scholes was afraid he would need to enter care.

Aiden, 16, is non-verbal and has complex needs that have led to some ‘terrible, terrible times’, the former England and Manchester United ace said. 

Scholes, 47 years old, shared his thoughts with Paddy McGuinness about Scholes’ three children who are autistic. Scholes stated that although he has been diagnosed for a few years, it was difficult to believe that Scholes would ever start talking. 

It’s not going to happen. It’s not possible for him to be neurotypical. He’s amazing. Accept it.

Paul Scholes is a football player who has spoken out about his struggle to understand the autism diagnosis of his son and once feared he would need to enter care. Scholes is pictured with his three children, Arron, Alicia, and Aiden, at Old Trafford, August 2011.

Aiden, 16, pictured, is non-verbal and has complex needs that have led to some 'terrible, terrible times', the former England and Manchester United ace said.

Aiden (16) is pictured. He’s nonverbal, and suffers from complex needs, which have resulted in some “terrible, horrible times,” the ex-Manchester United and England ace stated.

Paddy McGuinness, 48, interviewed Scholes for his documentary Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism, which airs tonight on BBC1, pictured

Paddy McGuinness, 48, interviewed Scholes for his documentary Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Our Family and Autism, which airs tonight on BBC1, pictured

McGuinness interviewed Scholes, aged 48, for his documentary Paddy and Christine McGuinness. This is a BBC1 special. 

Paul also has Arron (21), and Alicia (20) with his wife Claire. He explained that he kept the diagnosis of his son secret from both Manchester United’s coaching staff and team. 

“When we were given the diagnosis, it was a relief. [Manchester United]They were playing Derby away. He recalled that it was “surprising” 

The place wasn’t for me. I lost my mind, worried and reading all I could about autism. My mental state was awful. 

I can recall playing Wednesday night. We got to Saturday’s game and my manager pulled me into his office and said, “I’m leaving today.” What do you think your performance was the night before? Then I replied, “I was not very good.” They never heard from me, and I have never spoken to anyone. 

Scholes, who has shunned the celebrity lifestyle enjoyed by other footballers, made Aiden’s diagnosis public in his 2011 memoir, Scholes: My Story.

Paul explained he initially kept his son's diagnosis private, even from the team and coaching staff at Manchester United. Above, giving Aiden a hug in a video shared on Instagram

Paul said that he kept the diagnosis of his son secret at first, including from Manchester United’s coaching staff and team. Above Aiden receiving a hug from Paul, in a Instagram video.

Paddy was told by he about the problems they’d had to face as a result. 

“You want to chop his hair. It’s disgusting. It’s like he is biting you. Claire and me were so scratchy that we couldn’t even wear a shirt, it was impossible for you to put on a T-shirt. [our arms]. 

“You don’t know why it’s happening, so you can’t solve the problem.” Once you can see them, it’s possible to stop the signal from happening.

He said, “He used to return home every day and he would go ballistic.” He was just allowed outside to be watched, as the garden was not open. He’s getting violent, he is punching and kicks. 

Scholes told Paddy of some of the difficulties they had encountered as a result of the condition. Pictured, Aiden in a photo shared on Scholes' Instagram account

Scholes shared with Paddy some of their difficulties as a result. Photo of Aiden taken from Scholes’ Instagram.

Proud father-of-three Scholes on a walk with his daughter Alicia and son Aiden, pictured

Scholes, proud father-of-3 on a stroll with his daughter Alicia & son Aiden.

‘And –  I’ve never said this before – I’m looking at him thinking, “he might have to go into care”. It’s just not clear how you would handle it.

Scholes however stated Aiden reached important milestones such as being more creative with food. 

He continued, “We had some terrible and terrible times with him. As he stands now, he seems amazing. He is a very happy boy. There will be times but… People look at you in a totally different way but you’ve just got to think, “f*** them, I don’t care what they think”.’  

Paddy shared his thoughts with the group after their meeting. While I may not care what others think about me, it is obvious that I care because I am het up. 

Paddy, 48, and wife Christine, 33, live in Cheshire with their three children, eight-year-old twins Leo and Penelope, and five-year-old Felicity, who have all been diagnosed with autism

Paddy (48) and Christine (33) live with their children in Cheshire, twins Leo (8 years old and Penelope (5 years), who were all diagnosed with autism.

Speaking in a new BBC documentary, the father-of-three admits he initially struggled with the diagnosis and Christine tells how he threw himself into work and tried to cope with the news by earning money to support the family. He becomes emotional as he discusses the condition

The father-of-3 admits that it was difficult for him to receive the diagnosis. Christine explains how he tried to deal with the situation by working and earning money so that his children could have a better life. The condition causes him to get emotional.

‘If anyone mentioned the term autism to me, I would respond “I don’t want talk about it. It’s not something I want to think about.” Now that I have finally spoken about autism, it’s only that I regret spending so much time in fear. 

Paddy, 48 and Christine, 33 live together in Cheshire with their 3 children. They are eight-year old twins Penelope and Penelope and Felicity, five years respectively. All three have been diagnosed as autistic.

In a BBC documentary, the father of three admits that he struggled to accept the diagnosis. Christine shares how he got into work to help his family and cope with the bad news. 

Christine is diagnosed with autism during filming. Paddy sets out on a quest to understand autism and the possible consequences for his children. 

During the course of filming, Christine, pictured with one of her daughters, learns she also has autism.

Christine (pictured in the middle of filming) discovers that her autism is also revealed by one of her children. Paddy embarks on an adventure to understand this neurological condition.

One of Paddy's major concerns is that he fears his children's struggle to interpret and understand emotions might mean they don't know how much he loves them.

Paddy worries that his kids might struggle to grasp emotions and not know how much they love him.

On a school visit, he said that bullying is one of his biggest concerns. He also worries about kids who see something as normal. “But, you don’t realize how resilient children are.”

His greatest concern is the possibility that his children might not be able to comprehend and process emotions properly, which could mean they aren’t sure how much he love them.  

It’s what gets me to them with all of them, and it’s just how I think. I believe, “God will their ever understand how loved they truly are.” Are they able to understand the meaning of love?

“Who love you more than the rest?” I always tell Leo when I get in bed every night with him. He will say “you do”. I’ll ask “Who is your best friend?” And he will say “you are” and I’ll respond, “Does your father love you?” He’ll respond, “Yeah.” However, I am left wondering if he is just saying it, or if he knows that.

Christine laughed when she saw her husband get emotional and said, “Of course he loves you.” Christine says, “You’ve always said that about love and it is something. 

Patrick was worried that his children would not understand or feel loved. I always believed they did. Because they are autistic, they have difficulty showing it or understanding it.

The TV presenter, who has three autistic children (Leo, Penelope and Felicity) said in some areas of the UK receiving a diagnosis can take not months but years

Felicity is a television presenter who has three autistic siblings (Leo Penelope, Felicity and Penelope).

Four years ago, the twins started to fail developmental milestones.

“When I first heard they were autistic, it was so distressing because it wasn’t something I understood. It was that simple. It didn’t make any difference to my kids once I got it figured out. 

“I believe my husband was so wrapped up in work that he took every opportunity to get away from work. He can’t deal with the situation at times. Some times, I just want to grab him and tell him “just keep going.” It isn’t that important. 

“But then, the soft side of me wonders what it must be like to live with kids who don’t get you or wish they didn’t.” It must have been awful.

Paddy shared his thoughts on the way he dealt with being diagnosed with depression. 

“I once thought that I was the last one in the world to have depression. I earned a few pounds. 

“I did not instantly feel sad because the process was slow. I felt it chip away with the many things I had to do and things you deal with when raising autistic children. The realization dawned upon me that this was it. They won’t get any better over the years. 

‘In the haze and clinical depression that I was in, if I’d been given the opportunity to take autism from my kids, I’d have said “yeah”, but autism is part who they are right now. So why would I want take away part my family, which I love so much?    

He says, “I love that about you.” [his son]So why would I take it from him? This is selfish. 

Paddy and Christine McGuinness: Tonight’s Family and Autism broadcasts at 9pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer