Paul Scholes has poured his heart about about his family life in his new autobiography - and revealed how his nearest and dearest have all rallied round to support his youngest son, Aiden, who has autism.
Paul and wife Claire have three children, Arron, 12, Aiden, six, and Alicia, 10. In an excerpt from his book featured in The Sun, devoted dad Paul writes that 'for all the benefits that professional football has brought me, none of them would mean a thing to me without my family.'
He says his 'new generation of Red Devils' keep he and Claire 'extremely busy' but he 'wouldn't have it any other way'.
Former Manchester United mid-fielder Paul reveals that Aiden's autism and 'severe learning difficulties' prevent him from joining in most sports, but he has a passion for swimming.
'He seems in his element in the pool, he's a real water baby and it's wonderful that he's got that to enjoy. Some children with autism are scared of water but Aiden's the opposite. He'd be swimming every minute of the day if he could and on holiday we even feed him in the pool.'
Paul says he and Claire 'hope' but are 'not banking on' Aiden's condition improving, and as a family, they just do everything they can to make sure he has a 'happy life', with speech and play therapists working closely with the family.
'Aiden's in his own little world, and it is some consolation that he does seem content in it. He loves being tickled and the other two know how to get him to enjoy himself, then to keep still for the camera. To me, this just shows how much they all love each other, and there's nothing better than when your kids get on like that,' Paul writes, adding that his other children, Arron and Alicia are 'fantastic' with their little brother.
'It can't be easy having a brother in his situation but they cope with it brilliantly.'
Paul sounds like a doting dad, doesn't he? And he's so right that family is more important than anything else.
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