Sheffield mum comes up with perfect way of helping autistic son celebrate World Book Day

A Sheffield mum has come up with the perfect way to help her autisitc son celebrate World Book Day.

By Dan Windham
Thursday, 07 March, 2019, 10:37

Schoolchildren up and down the country are dressing up as their favourite literary characters today and Sheffield is no different. 

But, the day created a few problems for Woodhouse mum Amy Wilson and her son Alfie who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. 

Alife ready for World Book Day - Credit: Amy Wilson

Amy said that her son was desperate to be involved with World Book Day but struggles with new fabrics and getting dressed up in costumes. 

So, Amy came up with the ingenious idea of dressing Alfie up as his namesake. 

She discovered a collection of books by Shirley Hughes titled ‘Alfie’, meaning her son was able to wear his own clothes but still dress up for World Book Day. 

She said: “We manage to work around Alfie’s autism but the problem is he does not like certain things. He struggles with a lot of things people take for granted, like certain fabrics or dressing up.

“We were wondering what to do for World Book Day because we didn’t want him to feel left out and just wanted him to feel included.

“We knew we wanted to send him in his day to day clothes but we didn’t know what to dress him up as. So we found this Alfie book and I rang the teacher and explained our costume idea and she said it sounded fabulous.

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“Alfie loved it as well; he ran into the school today showing everyone his book. He really struggles with his language and speech but he was saying ‘Alfie’.

“He’s now part of World Book Day in his very own way.”

Despite his disability, Amy said that she feels lucky her son is still able to attend a mainstream school. 

She praised the teachers at Brunswick Community Primary School for their work with him and said she just wants to make sure Alfie doesn’t feel left out. 

She said: “People are still coming around to the idea of disability but as parents you just learn to adapt to every situation. We’re very lucky because the school is so good with Alfie, he’s got a great teacher and everyone finds ways of working with him.

“It’s hard to send a child with disabilities to a main stream school, you want him to go but there are going to be certain obstacles. Every parent with a disabled child will find ways around it.

“I just didn’t want him to feel left out but unfortunately kids with disabilities often do so. They might see a meltdown as a tantrum or being naughty but it may just be a reaction to a bright light or a noise.

“But now, even if he’s just sat there with his book, he’s sat in his costume and he can talk about it by saying ‘Alfie’ then he will be included.”