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1:30pm Wednesday 17th November 2010

AN EXCEPTIONALLY gifted child has been finally diagnosed with autism and can get the help he needs following a four-year battle by his parents.

The Echo stepped in to help little Zachary Lovett, six, when the NHS refused to fund a referral to Great Ormond Street Hospital so experts could assess his case.

Zachary is in the top one per cent for literacy in the country for his age group and among the top two per cent of pupils in maths.

The youngster, who has a reading age of 11, can easily multiply large numbers in his head, yet is unable to socialise with his peers and hits out at those around him when he becomes frustrated.

Yet without a firm diagnosis his school, Edwards Hall Primary, Leigh, has, until now been unable to get funding for the one-to-one tuition he needs.

Now, after the Echo highlighted the case, the NHS South East Essex Trust has relented.

His father Michael Lovett, 52, of Feeches Road, Southend, said the family were overjoyed.

He said: “They diagnosed Zachary within an hour at Great Ormond Street. It is such a big relief because we feel we haven’t been wrong all this time.

“On the way home from the hospital my eyes just filled with tears.

“We know he will never get better, but now he will get the help he needs. The hospital will also teach us how to handle him.”

Mr Lovett said specialists at the hospital had been intrigued with Zachary’s abilities. He added: “They think he has got a fantastic mind.

“He could count backwards at two-and-a-half. Now he will get the help to deal with his intelligence. We can’t thank the Echo enough.”

After approving the funding, Ian Stidston, the trust’s interim director of primary and community care, said: “We are keen to ensure the child receives the right response in relation to their immediate and ongoing support needs as soon possible.”

Source:  http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/8668847.Autistic_Zach_to_get_the_help_he_needs/?ref=rss



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