A woman who was filmed apparently dragging her young child along a pavement in Liverpool with a lead has explained why she did so, and said she is “not a bad mum”.
The incident was captured on film by a passerby, who said that despite the child being on its back as it was dragged along, it appeared to be “fine”.
The woman, who has not been named, told the Liverpool Echo her son is autistic and that sometimes it is the only way to move him.
"My son has autism, he has meltdowns and throws himself on the floor,” she said.
“What I am doing in that video is the only way I can move him.
“He does it all the time and won’t get up or let me pick him up.
“He just drops to the floor like a sack of spuds.”
Many viewers suggested the child could be a doll, but Joe Cain, who witnessed the incident told the Liverpool Echo that people nearby seemed more affected than the young boy.
He said: “Basically, I was walking through town and the kid fell over and then the woman saw the kid had fallen but kept on walking.
“The kid seemed fine with everything to be honest, it was people who saw it that seemed worse off.
“She walked on like that for a while.”
Before the video was deleted from Twitter, it had been viewed thousands of times, and many people had commented asking why someone hadn’t intervened.
But the 31-year-old mother said she was angry at the suggestion her son had fallen over and she hadn’t helped him.
“People are making me out to be a bad mum. I am not a bad mum,” she told the Echo.
“They should ask before they judge me. Only two women came up to me and I said ‘he has severe autism’.
“And I would have told that to anyone who asked me, but people just stare at me and him and judge and think he is ‘not normal’.
“He is normal he just has autism.”
She added: “I can’t go out very often because he has these meltdowns. He doesn’t like big crowds and whenever I take him out he could just kick off.
“People don’t understand how hard it is having an autistic child, especially when they are so strong. He has attacked me before and knocked me off my feet, but he doesn’t know he is hurting me.
“I have the reins on him because he has no sense of danger.
“I try my best and people that know me, know that I am a good mum.
“People should just ask before they judge.”
Merseyside Police said it is investigating the video, and urged anyone with information to call 101 quoting the log 1482 of 25th October.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies