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Barnsley Mum Launches Autism Group

Monday October 14 2013

We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley

A BARNSLEY mum who says the pressure of raising an autistic son ‘nearly broke her’ has launched a group that offers support to other families with special needs children.

Kerry Thompson says her seven-year-old son William’s condition got so bad that taxi drivers refused to drive him and hairdressers were reluctant to cut his hair.

Kerry, of Baden Street, Worsbrough, said: "It was horrendous, particularly when he was three or four. People would look at me like I was a bad parent or that he was a spoilt child, it nearly broke me and I couldn’t cope.

"He would go hysterical at the hairdresser's and start crying and shaking so I had to shave his head at home until he was seven. He couldn’t understand why mum and dad would take him to someone to cut his hair off so we’d have to pin him down at home.

"He’d lay on the floor at bus stops and then climb all over the seats on the bus before letting out an ear-piercing scream.

"We gave that up so started taking taxis but some of the drivers wouldn’t pick him up due to his scream, while one time he opened a taxi door whilst we were driving along Sheffield Road. We eventually had to buy a car."

Kerry, who has two other children, says there was little support for her and decided to take matters into her own hands and launched Barnsley Little Stars, a group that offers support and advice for families of special needs children.

Kerry, who is the voluntary co-chairman of the organisation, said: "William is much better now, he’s in mainstream school, at Hoyland Common Primary, and has really improved. But there are many parents out there who don’t know what to do.

"We’ve had families come in and break down crying because they can’t cope but after a few weeks they’ve got big smiles on their faces as they’ve met with like-minded people.

"We hope to launch as an official charity shortly and then we can start applying for grants."

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Reply Posted by sandra on Monday October 14 2013 at 12:51
Well done Kerry firstly for making sure your son is both happy and safe as kids with special needs sometimes don't get understood.
Also finding the time to help other families in the same situation, keep up the good work

Reply Posted by observer on Monday October 14 2013 at 12:52
hi. what are you calling this organisation please. I would like to join this. thank you.

Reply Posted by Kerry Thompson on Monday October 14 2013 at 13:54
Hi, and thank you so much for your support and kind words. The group is called Barnsley Little Stars. . Also another group that really helped me in my time of need are Barnsley Parent Carers Forum. . Add us and and them on Facebook. :-)

Reply Posted by spandangled on Monday October 14 2013 at 14:44
OMG all this sounds so familiar Kerry I am going through the process of getting my 5 year old son statmented at the moment and I am struggling to say the least in our home life and day to day general activities this group sounds fab I would defo like to attend as support seems lacking up until an actual diagnosis or statement has been given and as Im sure you know that takes bloody years xx

Reply Posted by Diane on Monday October 14 2013 at 17:04
Well done Kerry, you really are an amazingly wonderful lady and a super Mum to your boys. So blessed to call you a friend xx

Reply Posted by Nikki Rowe on Monday October 14 2013 at 17:07
Without little stars I would not know where I would have been I have 2 children with special needs and no one told me of any support! No professionals helped us to get support and we were at breaking point ! It was only down to Kerry Thompson been my cousin and us newly been in contact over Facebook that she told me to come along to one of the activities which I did. I have learnt so much about what/ where to go for support and met some lovely people who have children with all different needs and it is so nice to get to talk to people who understand what you are going through!

Reply Posted by Ann Bywater on Monday October 14 2013 at 17:49
This is an amazing group that's why I joined with my two special needs grandchildren they love this group where all the family can meet as a family not one child going to a special needs group another going to another group but everyone including siblings can come so glad I found the group well done to all the hard work in starting this group I may help now but so much was achieved prior by parents of special needs children and I also benefited by meeting other carers well done

Reply Posted by Ricky on Sunday October 20 2013 at 20:09
I am very pleased that someone has stepped up and doing something because there isn't much support out there as me and wife knows our son is autistic he is five now and he hates going to hairdressers too and wen he was younger he also opened a taxi door it's very hard work especially for my wife as I am at work most days but we battled through and he's doing so good in school and at home

Reply Posted by carol on Sunday October 20 2013 at 20:21
well done love x

Reply Posted by maria on Sunday October 20 2013 at 21:08
Well done Kerry, my oldest son was diagnosed with aspergers last year at the age of 16 and wouldn't have been diagnosed to this day if we hadn't reached the point where we couldn't cope any longer as a family, even after his diagnosis all we got from professionals was well you know what's wrong with him now get get on with it, it took nearly a year to get us a place in a group to help us deal with his behaviour and the challenges of living with someone who is autistic, it's too late for us as a family as he's moved out and is living with people who can cater for his needs, he's at college and looking for a job, he has a girlfriend and is doing really well at the moment we should have been a part of that and feel cheated, our family has been destroyed due to the lack of support and advice given to us,your support group will help prevent this happening to many other families (WELL DONE)

Reply Posted by Andrea on Sunday October 20 2013 at 21:18
I have a 14 year old recently diagnosed with aspergers, someone please help!

Reply Posted by Michelle on Friday January 17 2014 at 20:23
My son as just been diagnosed wiv aspergers age 13 any parents to talk to

Reply Posted by Angela freeman on Sunday June 1 2014 at 16:56
Still waiting for my son to be diagnosed but he has been but on the spectrum as Kerry we have to cut his hair at home cause he don't like it done everything is a battle with him we go anywhere he tells us we have broke his legs getting him dress on a morning if they is no school is hard work just at the end of my rope with it all now and been told there is still a 8 months wait before he can be seen.