Great empathy!

In the months before diagnosis, as Bright Eyes' behaviour got worse and worse, it became really difficult dealing with him in public.

Ashamed as I am to say it, most of my worry was about what other people would think of me as a mother when he screamed, ran away and was generally disobedient and obstreperous.

I got over it after this incident though. We were on holidays and I had been taking him down in the pram every day to the local shop to get dinner for the evening. Once or twice I had bought a lollipop in that shop and on this particular day he wanted another one.

"Lollipop, lollipop, lollipop" he shouted at the top of his voice, as we stood in the queue waiting to pay.

"No lollipop today. Just going home," said I, calmly.

He escalated within about a minute to a full-blown tantrum with kicking legs, waving arms, red face and screams and shouts. "LOLLLLLIPOP! LOLLLIPOP!"

It went on for about 3 minutes while we stood at the counter. And then I heard the elderly gentleman behind me make a comment to the person next to him.

"Well, when my kids were little they were brought up on the end of a strap. They would never have even thought to make a fuss like that."

I could feel my blood pressure go up in a second - as if it wasn't high enough already. And to my shame, I turned to him and said, "I'll be your wife did most of the work with your children anyway!" before storming out the door with my shopping.

I'm not pleased with my response, but it did make me less worried about what people thought of me.