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Heysham mum’s bid to raise awareness of autism

Kirsty Wright is trying to raise money and awareness for charities that help children with autism as her 4-year-old son Freddie suffers from the condition.
Kirsty Wright is trying to raise money and awareness for charities that help children with autism as her 4-year-old son Freddie suffers from the condition.
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The mum and grandad of a four-year-old boy with autism are launching a series of fundraising events in a bid to raise awareness of the condition.

The family will also be raising funds which they will split between three local charities.

Freddie's grandad Paul Barton, DJ Danny Matthews and Kirsty Wright with son Freddie.

Freddie's grandad Paul Barton, DJ Danny Matthews and Kirsty Wright with son Freddie.

Freddie Wright was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, and his mum Kirsty said she has since come across many people who do not understand the condition.

Freddie, who attends The Loyne Specialist School, is unable to speak and has limited understanding.

He often takes out his frustrations by screaming and hitting out at Kirsty, who lives in Seawell Avenue, Heysham, with Freddie and her older son Finlay, six, and daughter Faith, two.

Kirsty, 24, said: “If we go out and Freddie gets upset and screams, we get a lot of looks and comments. We went shopping once and he started screaming because of the change in temperature and the noise, and a woman said to me that he needed a slap.

“When I told her he was autistic, she asked me if I had considered adoption.

“He was three and he had just been diagnosed.

“People see him as just a naughty kid but he really isn’t.

“People just don’t understand what’s wrong with him. It’s hard and if people had a bit more knowledge it might make life a bit easier for those with autism and the people around them. Raising awareness might also help people out there who think there’s something different about their child, or those who have just been diagnosed.”

The first event to be held is an afternoon of music at the Alhambra/Carleton in Marine Road West, Morecambe, on August 5, from 2pm until 6pm.

Heart radio presenter Danny Matthews will be hosting the afternoon of 50s, 60s and 70s music, and there will also be a talk about autism. Tickets are free but donations are welcomed. Another family event is also being planned for August 19 at the Boot and Shoe pub in Scotforth. It is hoped further events will also be arranged in the future.

The fundraising will build up to March 2019, when Kirsty’s dad Paul Barton will be joined by Danny Matthews on a pram push from Lancaster to Blackpool and back. The pair will be collecting donations from motorists, passers-by and pubs along the way.

The walk, which is around 23 miles each way and will take about 16 hours in total, takes place over the weekend of March 2 and 3. Paul will celebrate his 82nd birthday the following day. Money raised from all the events will be split between The Loyne School, Morecambe Road School and Unique Kidz.