Leo and Stephen Andrade, Holloway, Islington – Leo Andrade speaks out in the Islington Gazette article about how her autistic son Stephen, 19 has been subjected to vile abuse and prejudice.
She describes of how they have been thrown off buses and Supermarkets due to the ignorance of his disability.
Leo has joined Kevin Healey, a leading autism campaigner who has Asperger’s Syndrome, in his autism anti bullying campaign and is featured in his anti-bullying documentary were she talks about the difficulties that both herself and Stephen face.
The campaign is pushing for changes in the law regarding cyber bullying and online safety for individuals on the autistic spectrum.
Autism Daily Newscast reported on the documentary here
To date 104 MPs support the campaign.
Mrs Andrade, 49, who lives with her husband and 3 children, told the Islington Gazette:
“It would happen at least three times a week. We would get on a bus and, because of sensory issues, if the bus was empty, he would sit and smile. But if it was full and there was nowhere to sit and there were people passing and touching him, he would get upset or anxious.”
She explained that Stephen would scream and start smacking his ears and clapping his hands.
“People would get upset and start shouting ‘crazy kid, get him off the bus’ and ‘you can’t control him, you’re a bad mother’. The driver would stop the bus and throw us off.”
Mrs Andrade explains that Stephen has a mental age of 7. She tells that they have suffered abuse in supermarkets and that they were once banned by security at a store in Archway.
Kevin Healey explains that many people do not know what autism is:
“There needs to be a programme at school from the age of five to educate kids about autism and other forms of mental illness.”
The article by Rory Brigstock-Barron in the Islington Gazette can be read here
You can find out more about Kevin Healey’s campaign here