THE mother of a six-year-old autistic boy has enlisted the help of more than 20 Clitheroe businesses to raise awareness of the condition.

Alisa Haworth, 45, asked shops in the Ribble Valley market town to display posters in their windows to support the Light It Up Blue campaign during Autism Awareness Month.

Alisa, who lives in Radeclyffe Street in the town with her son Tyler Duffy, said she ‘couldn’t believe it’ when four shops also created ‘beautiful’ window displays for the awareness drive.

Tyler, who was diagnosed when he was 18 months old, used to attend St James’ Primary School before moving to White Ash special needs school in Oswaldtwistle.

Alisa said: “Autism is a very misunderstood and forgotten disability and I hope that this awareness drive does something to change that.

“Tyler sees the world completely differently to other people and because it’s not a visible condition, people think that he’s just a naughty child when he has a meltdown. He can’t lie and doesn’t understand the concept of deception. He smells every smell and hears every sound and can’t understand social interaction in the same way as everyone else.

“ It took a lot of work to get him to speak but now he can but it doesn’t always make sense or appropriate.”

The single mum said she intended to carry on the campaign next year and try and get the town’s historic castle lit up blue and organise a walk through the market town.

Clitheroe shops Party People, Style Diva, Elan Boutique and House of Cards all created the window displays for the campaign.

Alisa added: “It’s amazing that so many businesses in the town have joined with me in raising awareness and I would like to thank everybody who has displayed posters in their windows.

“The shops that created the beautiful displays are just fantastic. I hope that next year’s awareness drive is even bigger and that we can get the castle lit up and a walk through the town organised.”

Light It Up Blue, where public buildings are turned blue, has been marked annually on April 2, since 2010, to raise awareness of autism.