Catherine Simpson and her daughter Nina have been through the worst of times together – and the best.
As they faced school bullies and those who failed to accept or understand Nina’s autism, they gathered the invaluable experience and insight they now share with audiences around Scotland.
They found the platform from which they raise awareness after the publication of Catherine’s first novel, Truestory, in 2015.
It is the tale of a boy with autism, inspired by her own experience of raising a child with the condition.
Nina, now 22, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome at the age of 10, and experienced dreadful bullying in her early high school years.
It eventually led to her family deciding to move her to the independent Rudolf Steiner School in Edinburgh when she was 14.
Catherine, 54, from Edinburgh, said: “She was bullied so badly in high school that she wouldn’t have gone to school after 14 if we couldn’t have afforded to pay for it, which is shocking really.
“Girls can be horrible to other girls. Nina was horribly treated at school by girls and boys, but it was the girls who physically attacked her to the point they even kicked her down the stairs when she was 14.
“The girl who did it wasn’t even suspended. Her father was brought in and she didn’t even deny it. And then the bullying got worse and it was at that stage we said, ‘You’re just not going back.’
“The attitude [of the school] was, ‘It’s part of school life, just get on with it.’ And there’s always the implication, ‘What have you done to cause this?’”
Read more at: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/daughter-autism-found-voice-after-11550953