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.
Me and my friends want young people to know that calories aren't the enemy!
Shak & Natasha