THE mum of a boy who cannot speak due to his autism has told of his battle to be heard.

Franklin Jordan has not had the easiest of starts to life, not being able to say hello to his mum or dad, or share stories with his sister Tabitha.

The four-year-old was diagnosed in March 2017 with a form of autism which means he currently cannot talk.

From that moment onwards Jo Jordan, Franklin’s mum, knew she may never hear his first words, but is focused on pushing him to communicate.

The 37-year-old, from Edgworth, said she was crushed by the diagnosis, calling her husband and bursting into tears after the appointment.

But the mum-of-two said she vowed to work extremely hard to give her son the best chance of becoming “everything he could possibly be”.

She said: “Autism is a part of him, a part of all of us now, but it doesn’t have to define him.

“It’s not the end of the world, just the beginning of a new one.

“He was diagnosed quite young, he was only two.

“There was not a lot of support for children of that age with autism, we discovered, there was mainly support for children who were diagnosed later on in childhood.”

Desperate to give their son a chance to be heard, Jo and her family started to develop a communication system.

The system allows Franklin to communicate using pictures, with the family showing a picture of a desired item to describe how they feel.

Jo said the system had been fantastic for the family and for her son.

She said: “It was frustrating at first to use. Encouraging your child to hand you a picture card every time they want the toilet or or toy is no mean feat and requires a specific approach.

“But with lots of perseverance and patience it has worked for us.

“I used colour symbols, black and white symbols, photos, etc.

“I mixed it up purposely so Franklin didn’t become too fixated on one style and then be unable to generalise.”

Jo said Franklin's sister Tabitha could not be more opposite to her brother. She is a chatterbox, a lover of dancing and never stops making noise.

Jo said it has been difficult bringing up two children with polar personalities.

She said: “It’s been hard to make sure Franklin can go somewhere and be comfortable, but then not let Tabitha miss out on things her friends do.

“We have to make sure we strike the right balance.

“Tabitha has loved Franklin from the moment he was born. She doesn’t see autism, she sees Franklin.”

To help other parents who have children with autism, Jo set up a blog Spinning In Circles, and talks about a range of topics including diagnosis, daily struggles and acceptance of the disorder.

Franklin started going to Turton Edgworth CE Primary School in September and has completed his first term.

Jo said with full-time one-to-one support at the school he is doing well.

She said: “School will be different for Franklin but he is going to get support from all of us and we hope to make his life as thorough and fulfilling as possible.

“I’m so proud of him and how he’s come on so far.

"I am also encouraging him to speak."

To read Jo’s blog, visit