Autistic four-year-old scared' to enter shop

PUBLISHED: 13:18 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 May 2010

Four-year-old Freya with her sister Rhiannon and mum Emma

Four-year-old Freya with her sister Rhiannon and mum Emma

A MOTHER claims her autistic four-year-old daughter is terrified to go near a shop after the shopkeeper reprimanded her for getting upset. Freya Doherty was choosing sweets with her 12-year-old sister, Rhiannon, at the KLM Trophy Centre, off The Parade, S

A MOTHER claims her autistic four-year-old daughter is terrified to go near a shop after the shopkeeper reprimanded her for getting upset.

Freya Doherty was choosing sweets with her 12-year-old sister, Rhiannon, at the KLM Trophy Centre, off The Parade, Southfields, Letchworth GC, when she began feeling anxious.

Feelings of distress and anxiety are just some of the symptoms of autism - a brain disorder affecting communication, social interaction and creative or imaginative play.

Freya's mum, Emma, of Eastern Way, Letchworth, said: "My daughters were told by the shopkeeper that if there were going to be any strops then they could leave.

"My daughters were approached aggressively and she didn't ask at all if there was a problem.

"They were intimidated and I'm really angry.

"People are intolerant of children and they don't want to find out about a problem.

"Most people don't really know a lot about autism but they only have to ask.

"Rhiannon wasn't given the chance to explain.

"She just felt intimidated.

"Rhiannon is quite upset by the whole thing and Freya won't even go near the shop now.

"It's quite affected her because she can read body language.

"She said a lady shouted at her and children with autism can't lie."

When The Comet tried contacting the shopkeeper, the owner of the store said: "They have got it all wrong so we're refusing to comment.

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