Autistic boy bullied for 'geeky' costume treated to science day out in Sheffield
An autistic schoolboy who was bullied for a 'geeky' scientist outfit has been treated to a fun-filled science day in Sheffield.
Seven-year-old Jamie Witcombe dressed up for his school's dream job day wearing green trousers, a shirt and a laminated ID badge and carrying a magnifying glass.
But he came home 'deflated' after being teased by other pupils who thought his non-traditional outfit looked silly.
And after his upset mum Nicola posted about the incident on social media, science bosses at the University of Sheffield stepped in to give Jamie, from Harlow, Essex, a VIP day out in South Yorkshire.
She described how Jamie had asked her: 'Scientists wear their own clothes don't they mummy?!' and picked out his own outfit.
'He insisted he wanted a fancy "swishy" ID card so I found a Pinterest one and made it up with a swishy clip, even laminated it!' she wrote.
'He was very happy this morning. Poor little man was so deflated tonight'
Her message was seen by University of Sheffield staff member Dr Lynsey Grieveson who was 'incensed' that he had been mocked by his classmates.
A magical day of science was then arranged for Jamie at the campus to show the youngster that he shouldn't be disheartened by mean comments.
During the exciting trip he was introduced to robotics, used virtual reality to explore the human body and studied zebrafish.
Jamie said after the fun-filled day: 'Thank you for making my day and making me feel special.'
And his mother Nicola was also delighted that he had been given such a warm reception at the university.
'We were blown away by the effort that people had gone to for our little man,' she said.
'To have people take the time out from their incredibly important work to show our son what they do and to make it accessible for him was fantastic and humbling.'
Dr Grieveson said: 'I was incensed that a child had been left to feel that their idea was stupid."
'I can empathise as my own child is on the autistic spectrum and there are many additional hurdles these children face on a daily basis.
'What really annoyed me is that I was afraid the bullies had won and Jamie would no longer feel his passion for science was valid or that he could achieve in this sphere.'