A Hull mum has spoken about the reality of lockdown with a child who has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Seven-year-old Kyan Leebetter has autism and his disability means he can't talk or tell his parents how he is feeling.

Kyan thrives on routine, and loves school, so when the schools were closed before the country went into lockdown to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, his mum Rachel knew it was going to be a difficult time for him.

But despite there being meltdowns, Mrs Leebetter has kept them to a minimum, by opening a classroom in her spare room.

Kyan in his makeshift classroom

Every day Kyan puts on his uniform and "goes to school" - which has helped with his sense of routine.

Inside the makeshift classroom, Kyan has his computer, which was granted from the Family Fund charity, and visual planners on the walls.

Mrs Leebetter said: "When he had to leave school I knew it wouldn't be easy. He thrives on routine and loves school.

"His teacher worked with me and brought home everything he uses in the classroom including his visuals and planners, etc. Also she provided all his passwords and sites he can get access to on the computer which he loves.

"So I made my spare room into a classroom for him. He puts his school uniform on Monday to Friday still and actually thinks I'm his new teacher. He's renamed it Newcott instead of Northcott.

"If Kyan has a routine planned and knows what he's doing he generally copes quite well. I think without the classroom idea and no routine Kyan would 100 per cent not cope.

Kyan needs a routine

"When he's anxious his obsessions can be extreme which can range from the windows to phones and he wont come away from them. "So the main thing for Kyan is keeping him relaxed and focused.

"I know he's really missing school and his teachers and friends but for now he is coping best he can and I'm super proud of him."

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Mrs Leebetter runs Kyan's Diary blog on Facebook to help people understand what autism is and give a realistic view of what daily life for someone with the disability is like.

The blog is written from Kyan's point of view - as if he has written it himself.

She wrote about one of Kyan's meltdowns, after he couldn't understand why his favourite sweets had ran out this week.

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The single mum added: "We did go to the local shop the other day so I could grab some essentials and teach him some social distancing which he did really well, but he was a bit anxious and then because he was coping well I said I'd buy him his favourite jellies and unfortunately they had sold out.

"So he couldn't understand why they wasn't any left and had a meltdown. I put a post on my Facebook and so many people reached out and brought him his favourite jellies, it was such a lovely feeling knowing people are looking out for us and helping."

Kyan was diagnosed with the condition when he was just four years old and Mrs Leebetter says the blog also encourages parents to seek an early diagnosis for autism.