Birmingham & Black Country

Autistic boy's mum praises 'lovely' school prom classmates

Brodie and the girls Image copyright Nicky Byrne
Image caption The five girls have been praised by Brodie Smith's mother, and the school, for inviting him to join them

Going to prom can be nerve-wracking for any teenager, but particularly Brodie Smith, whose autism means he finds social situations difficult.

The St Peter's Catholic School pupil set off alone for the event in Solihull, West Midlands.

But he was picked up by a group of classmates at the venue gates and invited to join their party.

Lottie Byrne, Rosy Burns, Ellie Jones, Katie Redmond and Alessia Denby all 16, have been praised for their kindness.

Dianne Smith, 48, said Brodie, 16, was diagnosed when he was eight years old and finds communicating his thoughts and feelings difficult.

She said it was a problem when he started secondary school, where he was picked on, but with the school's support, he made friends and completed his GCSEs.

Image copyright Dianne Smith
Image caption Brodie Smith was diagnosed with autism at eight and his mother said it makes him appear to be shy as he has problems communicating

Ms Smith said he wanted to go to prom, but insisted on going on his own and got a taxi to drop him at the end of the long drive to Hogarths Hotel, where it was held on Wednesday.

As he was walking he was spotted by the girls, who encouraged him to join him in their car and have pictures taken with them.

Ms Smith said: "I found out a few days later. It was just such a lovely thing for them to do.

"I was so proud of him doing his GCSEs and I cried when he set off for prom because he looked so lovely, but I did feel really bad when I saw other parents putting up pictures of their children with their friends, I wished that could have been him.

"It has really boosted his confidence."

'Nice thing to do'

Lottie's mother, Nicky Byrne, 48, received an email from her head of year Sean Stowe, which said: "For the girls to invite a student not within their friendship group to join them and have photos with them, proves what a genuinely kind and mature group of individuals they are."

She said: "We're so proud of them because they haven't wanted to make a big thing of it.

"They're just a lovely group."

Brodie said he has sociology with two of the girls in the group.

He said: "I get along with them well but we're not really friends.

"They saw me walking past and recognised me from the back and told me to get in the car.

"I thought it was pretty funny at the time, it was a nice thing to do."

Image copyright Nicky Byrne
Image caption Brodie and the girls will all be returning to the school in September to go to Sixth Form

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