I CAN fully understand the heartache that Christine Hodgson has experienced in trying to get the outside world to accept that her son is not somehow abnormal.

I went through endless years of pain and disappointment before eventually my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of 16.

The diagnosis came too late to help him in his school life, but I was able to use it to get a more understanding style of teaching for him at college and driving school. In both cases this action enabled him to get a good result. He used this approach himself when he went on to university.

Now in his thirties, he still has Asperger’s and will have for the rest of his life. But he has learnt to manage it and to use some of the obsessive traits the condition saddles him with to his advantage, even in the area of empathy and leadership.

Love, understanding and faith in him saw me through. Twenty-five years of my life are covered in my book Looking Through Bubbles, which many have said has given them inspiration to find a way forward.

Patricia Greenwood, Reeth House, Snaith.


• THE features in The Press about autism on January January 24 and January 25 took me back to when my son was diagnosed with Autism/Asperger’s syndrome.

“Enjoy him; he will always be a three-year-old little boy,” said the educational psychologist. What about the words I hung on to? “You will have a real fight on your hands to get his needs met fully, but universities are full of people like him” said the psychiatrist who gave the diagnosis.

Six schools and a lot of stress later, I turned my energy to biomedical intervention. I withdrew him from school to save him from a section. Now, 14 years on, he is a fully functioning 26-year-old with a Masters degree and a full-time job with a good company. We are working towards independent living.

I am not going to say that biomedical intervention is a cure because I still see minor traits. Am I saying I wanted to change who he is? Absolutely not because then I would be saying I wasn’t happy with the human being I bore out of love. But quality of life can be significantly improved.

I would say to any parent like Christine Hodgson to give Dr Damien Downing, of Nutrition Associates, a call and see what he can do. It can be a huge commitment depending on the intervention required. Dr Downing’s number is 01904 691591.

Anne Pemberton, Nurse and nutritionist, Nutrition Associates, Lysander Close, York.