DEALING with one child who has autism or learning difficulties can be difficult enough.

So the challenges faced by Yvette Thibault on a daily basis are almost too tough to imagine.

The single mum, aged 37, has five children — and four of them have special educational needs.

Antoinette, aged 11, and Corbin, aged five, have autism.

Paige Autumn, aged nine, has learning difficulties and four-year-old Luca has language and hearing problems. Saerun, aged three, is being monitored but is doing well so far.

Miss Thibault, aged 37, is a full-time carer for her children and wants to raise awareness of the problems autism causes.

She said: “It’s very hard work. Nobody has a clue what I have to go through every single day.

“I’m on my own and it means I’m housebound. It’s a nightmare trying to take them all out, so we pretty much stay at home.

“It’s very stressful. Antoinette and Corbin try everything. They have no awareness of danger and I can’t leave them for two minutes.

“Luca has a fascination with windows and I’m terrified he’ll fall out of one. Antoinette is lazy and gets angry and aggressive — and I’ve got three younger ones too.”

The family, who live in Avenue Street, Heaton, get support from Bolton Council, with social services and nurses visiting them, but Miss Thibault says life is still difficult.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects the way a person communicates and relates to others around them.

Sufferers have difficulties with everyday social interaction.

The cause of autistic spectrum disorders is not clear. However, it has been established that genetics play an important role.

It is likely autism occurs when a small number of genes interact in a specific way, possibly linked to some external event or factor.

The condition is being heavily researched.

Although caring for her children is hard work, Miss Thibault says it is rewarding and she wants other parents to see it is possible to cope with children who have autism.

She said: “They drive me bonkers but I love them so much. I’m just frightened for their safety.

“I’m not giving up, I’m just looking for more help. My advice to others is to keep smiling, just keep going.”

The National Autistic Society can be contacted on 0845 070 4004 or by visiting Bolton Carers Support can provide support locally and can be contacted on 01204 363056, email boltoncarers@ or visit