Freddie Ellison: Autistic teenage author returns to Garden Suburb Junior School to publicise his new book
PUBLISHED: 09:07 27 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:35 27 August 2019
© Nigel Sutton
Changing schools is a difficult time for any teenager – but for one 16-year-old autistic boy it proved the perfect time to write a novel.
Two years ago, Freddie Ellison was excluded from school,but he turned a challenging time into an opportunity to try and fulfil an ambition - by using his time to write a book.
Between leaving the Jewish Community Secondary School in New Barnet and starting at a specialist boarding school in East Sussex, Freddie worked with a ghostwriter to produce a 202 page manuscript.
Not long afterwards, it was picked up by SJH Publishing along with two future novels - and now the book is available across high street stores, including Waterstone's.
Freddie has even been able to take his book, called Oliver Storm and the Great Disappearance, back to his old school, the Garden Suburb Junior School in Childs Way.
That, he said, was a "great, but strange" experience.
Freddie's autism means he is prone to repetitive behaviour and has difficulties with social interaction.
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He was initially suspended from school for five days after disruptive behaviour which was a result of his condition, and which was aggravated by his deteriorating mental health.
While his parents fought with the council to allow Freddie to attend St John's School in Seaford, his mum Katy said Freddie took up writing "as a means of escape".
The novel tells the story of a 14-year-old boy who races against time to undo an experiment that banished all adults from the world.
Katy said: "He has achieved a huge amount and obviously, we are so happy and proud to see him come through something so negative.
"It shows that you can do anything in any situation as long as you have support and your family."
Barnet Council said it would not comment on individual cases but emphasised it takes the well-being of young people with special educational needs "extremely seriously".
Freddie's book can be found in Waterstone stores, SJH's website, and on Amazon, while Freddie is on Twitter @TheAutisticAuthor