'Dark Days' | 

Erin McGregor opens up about ‘struggling’ with non-verbal son in honest video

The 41-year-old sister of UFC star Conor McGregor shares son Harry (6) with her fiancé Terry Kavanagh.

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Erin McGregor has opened up about the struggles parents with children on the spectrum face in a “raw” social media message.

The 41-year-old sister of UFC star Conor McGregor shares son Harry (6) with her fiancé Terry Kavanagh.

Harry is nonverbal and was diagnosed with sensory issues a few years back.

Erin took to her Instagram Stories this week to tell her followers about a tough day she had with Harry recently, and later revealed that she received some “disrespectful” backlash criticising her parenting.

The panto star then shared a snippet from a YouTube video entitled “A Voice For Severe Autism” to showcase the harsh realities of autism, explaining that she wanted to highlight that the disability “isn’t all sunshine and roses”.

She later spoke to her followers about the struggles of having a child with autism, adding that she wants to let other parents know that they aren’t alone.

“I’ve literally done 36 panto shows continually, sometimes three shows a day, sometimes two,” Erin began.

“I did 30 shows back-to-back without a break, all while juggling this side of autism that other people might not be aware of.

“I get thousands of messages of love and support and (there) are way more (of those) than those stupid messages that... whatever... The good messages far outweigh them.”

Erin said that people often dismiss how difficult parenting a child on the spectrum can be and explained that just because she doesn’t always show the negative side online, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

“Why I’m adamant to show people the sides of autism that people aren’t aware of is to break that unconscious bias or that gaslighting that seems to be happening for parents that have children with special needs.

“I don’t know if it happens in any other area of special needs, but I know autism has a huge amount of it from non-functioning children to functioning children.

“There’s so many different levels on the spectrum that people aren’t aware of and just because we as parents need to focus on the good, it doesn’t actually eliminate the bad. And there are sh*tty times in it.

“I know how amazing children are on the spectrum. I have a child. I know what hope is. I probably have to live there a lot more because it gets me through the dark days, but it doesn’t mean that what we’re going through on the other side of it isn’t happening.

“Just because you guys might not see it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.”

The mum-of-two wants to start a candid conversation about autism to break the stigma for struggling parents.

“Why I talk about that level is because I definitely feel like it’s not portrayed in the media. I understand why. I wouldn’t want anyone to see Harry like that. I get it.

“The reason I come on and talk and be so raw about it is because there are parents at home on their knees and they need to know that it’s okay to be struggling, that it’s not all sunshine and roses. They aren’t alone.

“That to me means way more, that I might have reached a family like that, than just portraying the glossy side of things. It’s important to me that I can reach a hand out to a family that’s struggling and say it’s okay.

“So many people have messaged me saying ‘How do you do it?’ and ‘We didn’t know you were struggling,’ but the show must go on. But yeah, it’s been dramatic,” she added.

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