A TEESSIDE mother who became a national figure for her work campaigning for autism has hit out at a series of negative articles about the condition in the national press.

Anna Kennedy, OBE, originally from Middlesbrough but who now lives in London, was moved to contact The Northern Echo after being inundated with messages from angry parents of autistic children.

Mrs Kennedy, who has one child with autism and another with Asperger's Syndrome, became a national figure when she opened her own school for autistic children and has campaigned for 20 years on autism issues.

She said: “After receiving so many messages from angry parents and getting over my disappointment yet again on reading the negative articles that are circulating about autism today. The latest one was titled; ‘Recipe for a serial killer? Childhood abuse, autism and head injuries are more common in murderers, study claims.’

“I would like to make a personal plea to stop stigmatising people with autism with articles such as these.

"It’s hard enough as it is being a parent of a child on the spectrum, where you are trying to protect them in parallel with raising awareness with family, friends and adults in their life about their difficulties and possible behaviours.

"Then as they grow to be an adult on the spectrum who then are trying to get through the day to day tasks like the rest of us with the least stress possible with their added difficulties.

“Articles like these undo all the good work of our charity and people myself who are trying to raise awareness about the condition and share positive achievements of these individuals. There are too many doom and gloom articles around about autism and the aforementioned article is no different and adds to the stresses of families living with the condition.”

Find about more about Mrs Kennedy’s charity at annakennedyonline.com