Young autistic boy laughed at by employee of Sheffield company

Benjamin Cherrill who suffers from Autism and was made fun of by a Gleeson Homes manager with his parents, Sheffield, United Kingdom on 30 August 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
Benjamin Cherrill who suffers from Autism and was made fun of by a Gleeson Homes manager with his parents, Sheffield, United Kingdom on 30 August 2016. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
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A Sheffield mum is demanding an apology from a housing company after an employee burst out ‘laughing uncontrollably’ at her young autistic son.

Mum Lyndsey Cherrill claims that an employee for Gleeson Homes started laughing at her autistic son Benjamin, aged seven, because he had wires attached to his head for medical tests.

Benjamin Cherrill, aged seven, was laughed at by an employee because he had medical wires attached to his head.

Benjamin Cherrill, aged seven, was laughed at by an employee because he had medical wires attached to his head.

Lyndsey said she was left ‘disgusted’ by the incident on May 16 and claims that the company has not apologised.

She said Banjamin, who is highly autistic, has not recovered his confidence since the incident and still refers to the ‘mean laughing man’.

Lyndsey, aged 38, who bought her Ecclesfield property from Gleeson Homes in May 2015, said the incident happened when the buildings manager called round to the family home.

She said: “My husband Paul opened the door with our son stood beside him and the buildings manager started laughing uncontrollably at Benjamin. He was laughing because Benjamin had wires attached to his head to monitor brain activity.

“Paul and I were both so shocked that we didn’t even react at the time – we were speechless.

“The employee said he was laughing because he thought Benjamin was wired up to a computer game. We didn’t buy that excuse, though.”

She added: “The thing that hurts most is that neither the employee, nor the company have apologised for what happened. Benjamin realised he was being laughed at. He keeps referring to the ‘mean laughing man’.

“Is my son supposed to just accept that people will laugh at him? Of course not. It’s totally unacceptable that a firm as big as Gleeson Homes is not more aware about understanding people with disabilities.”

A spokesman for Gleeson Homes said: “This happened nearly four months ago and both ourselves and the employee apologised back in May. It was never our employee’s intention to cause any upset and we are a little surprised that Mr and Mrs Cherrill have resurrected this issue after all this time.”