A Hartlepool mum is doing her bit to raise awareness and money for autism.
Sharon Robins is mum to 18-year-old Lee who was diagnosed with the social disorder when he was three years old.
Because of his autism, Lee struggles to make friends and gets anxious if he does not stick to a strict daily routine.
This week is World Autism Awareness Week and on Friday Sharon will be raising money for autism respite centre the Daisy Chain Project in Norton.
Sharon said: “Lee attends Daisy Chain now and again and it is a charity that helps families affected by autism which is close to my family and I think they deserve some recognition.”
Sharon, who is also mum to Anthony, aged 19, and Roxanne, 13, noticed something was not quite right when Lee was a youngster.
“He wasn’t giving any eye contact and was fixated on certain things that came on TV,” she said.
“There wasn’t much awareness as there was not as many autistic children as there is now.
“It has been a very hard time but I keep going. You rely on close family to help with meet Lee’s needs.”
Sharon, of Hart Lane, said Lee’s condition has improved since he left school and joined ESPA College in Middlesbrough where he goes three days a week.
“It has made a massive difference to his behaviour and he is a lot more chilled,” she said.
This Friday, Sharon and colleagues at Tesco in Billingham will be raising money by selling cakes and holding raffles.
She praised her employer for their support in recognising her role as Lee’s carer as well as being his mum.