THE mother of a young son with Asperger syndrome has hit out at people who criticise his behaviour, saying — “he’s not naughty”.
Deborah Brownson, originally from Newbury Road, Little Lever, spent months battling to get her eight-year-old son Jake fairly treated by teachers, saying that regular school for him was like “pushing a square peg through a round hole”.
He is often called naughty and spoilt due to his behaviour, and Mrs Brownson — who has quit her job as a solicitor to look after him full-time — has been accused of being an unfit mother.
Jake’s situation is heightened because he also has a sensory processing disorder, meaning his senses are heightened and simply combing his hair can lead to a “meltdown”.
He also has a sleep disorder, which leaves him full of energy after just two hours’ sleep.
The mother-of-two, who moved to Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, with her husband Gareth, Jake, and elder son Joshua, aged 12, six years ago, has decided to use her experience to help others by writing a book about the autism spectrum disorder.
Mrs Brownson said: “I just thought I was a bad mum because everything from smells to noise can make him have a meltdown.
“When you’re dealing with a child who doesn’t speak it’s hard to know what’s wrong.
“He went into school when he was four, but he just couldn’t cope with the noisy environment and the teachers thought he was a pain. He was constantly told he was naughty and I was called in all the time.
“I decided to quit work and have him at home with me for five months. I was amazed at how much better he was.
“Once he was settled we were able to find him a school. He’s really settled since starting there.”
Mrs Brownson says she hopes her book will make others think twice before judging a child’s behaviour.
He’s Not Naughty, A Children’s Guide to Autism, will be available as an e-book in mid-August.
Autism is a lifelong develop-mental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people and the world.
It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain areas of difficulty, their condition affects them in different ways. Asperger syndrome is a form of autism.
For more information contact The National Autistic Society on 0207 8332299 or email firstname.lastname@example.org