Alison' And we have got these… Because I am a member of the National Autistic Society, so we have these little cards that I got on the website and it explains about – it says this young person has autism and explains that there could be little outbursts and please be patient and understanding with us, you know. So if we ever do go out as a family, which we don’t go out an awful lot all four of us together do we? Not for meals and sitting such and such, not for …
Tony' Well we used to try and get once a night a month just to go out to a local pub or restaurant or something just to have some family time.
Alison' But he’d run around wouldn’t he?
Tony' Well no, he wasn’t too bad.
Alison' He did sometimes though.
Tony' Now Fiona is 13, she is not too fussed about going out with her mum and dad and brother anyway. So she is more bothered about lads and her mates. So…
Alison' So we’ve had these cards and so you can just give them these cards and sort of explain things. And a few years ago as well when we went on holiday, because I got sick of people sort of like I say looking at us and gawping and sort of pointing the finger you know. I had some T-shirts printed. All different colours, red, green, blue, white, all with different coloured writing on to match whatever he was wearing, different outfits. And it just simply said on it. “I am not naughty. I am autistic.” And do you know the amount of people that come up to us because of those T-shirts.
Alison' We were in this restaurant one night, having a meal, the four of us, nice restaurant, one of these places, where abroad, you know where you have got your bouncy castles for the kids to play afterwards so you can sit and have a drink and everything. And this family just came and starting speaking to us. The family that was right next to us and it turns out their little girl was autistic and they had got [name] who was autistic. You know. And we just ended up swapping details and having a right old rattle with them and just because they had seen Nathan’s T- shirt. You know.
And the holiday club as well. The kids club that was there, they had seen the T-shirts and one of the girls who works in the kids club her mum just happened to be over for the weekend visiting her and she used to work with special needs children and this girl came up to me and she said, “Oh you are Nathan’s mum aren’t you?” And I said, “Yes.” And she said, “My Mum came at the weekend and she saw your T-shirt that you had printed and she said what a fantastic idea.” So she thought that was really good idea. She said, “If only more people would do that, you know, and let people see that kind of thing and understand it.” And I was like, “Oh great.” You know. And I thought oh there is this alarm gone. I am glad I did this now. And I mean he still wears these T-shirts every now and then doesn’t he?
Tony' Yes. Yes he does.
Alison' And I took him. Only local round here he happened to have one on because he went through a phase of always wanting to wear them didn’t he?
Alison' He always had these T-shirts. All different coloured T-shirts and like when you have got writing on your T-shirt people do look at it, you know, and they think oh what does that T-shirt say? You know. And this bloke once, stopped us in a shop and he went, “What does it say, ‘I am not naughty…’” he went, “Oh, ‘I am autistic’.” And at first he was