Help for parents coping with kids’ ‘hidden disability’

Huddersfield Town Hall, where the autism event will be held.
Huddersfield Town Hall, where the autism event will be held.

An event to help parents in North Kirklees with autistic children will take place next week.

The first ever Kirklees Autism Show will highlight information and support for parents with children on the autistic spectrum.

It will also feature a short film which organisers hope will address prejudice and promote a better understanding of the condition.

One of the event’s organisers, Debbie Whitehead, has an autistic son herself, and said the condition is not always understood by the public.

She said: “Part of the problem is that it is a hidden disability – a lot of people don’t understand or are able to identify it.

“When you are out with an autistic child who has a tantrum, a lot of other parents look at you as if you’re a bad parent, and they don’t understand that your child is autistic and this is not the case.”

Debbie, whose 10-year-old son Christian has Asperger Syndrome, said a lot of parents with children on the autistic spectrum weren’t always aware of the help available.

She said: “It wasn’t until he was in year two that we had him diagnosed, and the diagnosis is still ongoing now – and it is likely that a lot of other parents face these problems.

“The fact that they [the government] want autistic children in mainstream schools means that we need to make sure teachers are trained well at how to deal with autism.”

The Autism Show takes place at Huddersfield Town Hall on Tuesday October 29 at 2pm-4.30pm.

To book a place call 01484 221000 and ask for Laura Page or Debbie Whitehead. For more information visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/autism.