Autism story: Mum Sharon Broughton tells more about how she copes with son Ethan, dubbed ‘spiderboy’ – DAILY MAIL
How do you cope with a child who is obsessed with climbing… and even scales the drainpipes…?
Mum Sharon Broughton was desperate when she first contacted Featureworld about son Ethan. Ethan, aged six, is autistic and obsessed with climbing. As well as raising awareness about how autism can affect some children, Sharon hoped by sharing her story publicly she would find someone else with the same problems.
So I am delighted that following the first story in the Daily Mail, someone else with a similar child did come forward. And both mums are now in touch.
But that wasn’t the only feedback we got about Ethan’s story. Some people felt Ethan’s climbing was ‘just want little boys do’. Others thought introducing Ethan to professional climbing or even yoga might help. Meanwhile others felt Ethan should be disciplined to stop him being ‘naughty.
For this follow-up feature – which goes over two pages of the Daily Mail – I travelled to the family home in Cambridge to meet Sharon and Ethan.
Indeed Sharon brightness belies how difficult her life has become. Still in nappies, Ethan goes to a special school and is on drugs to prevent him from becoming aggressive.
Daily life is virtually impossible, her marriage has broken down due to the strain, and she is covered in bruises where Ethan has lashed out at her.
Despite this she is even more beautiful in the flesh than she is in photos, so bright and so positive. With help from her sister Katie, she is clearly a wonderful mother to Ethan. She says she is lucky as Ethan showers her with love and kisses. But at the same time his demands leave her with less time to spend with daughter Sienna.
Do you have a challenging child? If you would like to share your story in a national newspaper or magazine or on television do get in contact.