A CONCERNED mum has told how fireworks can lead to her autistic teen daughter “punching and biting” herself.

Christine McIlwraith from Coylton wants people to consider the impact noisy fireworks can have on others with additional support needs, as she protects her hypersensitive daughter Zoe,19, every year in a desperate attempt to avoid them.

The worried parent wants to see more “silent” displays from back gardens and less organised displays go ahead.

Now she is pleading with other residents to think about how some people could react to fireworks as Bonfire night approaches.

She told the Advertiser: “It’s got to the stage now that we hardly go out in order to avoid them.

“The likes of Dobbie’s are having a firework display, the rugby club are having a firework display and then there’s normally one down at the Racecourse. You hear other ones as well.

“My main concern is the one people set off a couple of weeks before Bonfire night - I can’t prepare for them they are just totally random.

“People don’t really understand unless you’ve got a child who has issues. To see a 19-year-old in such distress because of something as simple as fire works is really worrying.

“Have them controlled or even have silent ones. Every year I voice my concerns. Last year I asked the Coylton Community Association if we could make Coylton the first firework free village but it’s just impossible to regulate, kids are always going to just set them off.”

Christine is worried that Zoe might end up hurting herself after previous negative experiences can trigger an emotional response, similar to that seen with someone with post traumatic stress disorder.

Christine said: “Years ago, when she was younger, even in the car, she would punch herself, she wouldn’t be a danger to anyone else, but she would punch her head and bite her hand.

“She’ll have that for life now and she’ll never get over that. She relates to past experiences.

“Imagine yourself being in a situation where your emotions are really heightened and you can’t get out of that situation, they do these things to take themselves out of the situation that they don’t like.

“They punch and bite themselves, to try and regulate their emotions.

“The simple act of getting from the car to the house has become a daunting task, as a firework could go off at any time.

“You mention autism to some people, and they think it’s not real, I would like to think that some people would realise.”

“Zoe’s anxiety has built up because she is waiting for a firework to go off.

“It can happen at anytime and I can’t prepare her for that and you just don’t know when that is going to happen.

“I can avoid taking her out to displays, but I can’t avoid these random ones going off .”

Do you agree that fireworks have an adverse affect on local communities? Call us on 01294 464321 to tell your story.