I had my first son, Leyton, when I was 18 and then I had my second son, Joshua, at 20.
As a young mum, and a single mum, it’s hard work. But the most difficult part is that Joshua has autism.
When he was diagnosed, all I got was a leaflet about the condition. I didn’t know where to turn for support, and often felt very isolated trying to deal with it.
The most helpful thing is hearing the stories of other parents going through a similar thing. This gives you a sense of normality and that you’re not in it alone.
I’m now writing a book about my experiences with Joshua and I'm encouraging other parents of children with special needs to share their stories too.
I would like to thank Karen Hoe from Contact a Family for providing an interview for the ITV news story.
I would like to thank mums Emily Morgan, Tina Medlock and Harriet Blake for sharing their parenting experiences with me.
Shak & Natasha