My family's attitude towards my disabled child really irritates me

DEAR DEIDRE: I’M a single mum of 34 with a nine-year-old son who has ADHD and autism.

Life is hard enough dealing with him and his issues but the thing that really grates is my family’s attitude.

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My boy really struggles with bright lights and loud noises.

If he gets upset, no one can touch him to try to help calm him down.

Recently he’s started ­biting and sucking on his arms until they are red raw.

My own mum says I shouldn’t have had him and when I try to calm him down she always says: “Give him a smack.”

But when I’m calm with him, he does quieten down.

The school says he doesn’t bite his arms when he’s there, but I don’t know where to get help.

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DEIDRE SAYS: You are doing an amazing job but like any parent of a child with disabilities, you do need support.

Keep a record of when your son bites and sucks his arms and take notes to help you see any patterns.

Talk to your GP and ask to be referred to Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS). Otherwise you can self-refer. Contact your local council and ask for contact information.

Speak to the school’s special needs co-ordinator and ask again for support. I’m sorry your family aren’t there for you.

Look at for more information. There is an online community and talking to those who understand the issues will really help.

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