A MUM of a special needs toddler says she cannot leave the house without "stares, comments and people judging."

Zara, two-and-a-half has complex special needs and her mum said people in public can be very rude about her.

Zara often makes a lot of noise and becomes agitated in public due to her difficulties. This can draw negative attention due to "lack of understanding." Miss Shoots, who lives in Evesham said. "We went to a cafe in Morrisons once and she began to cry. She can't just say she is hungry because she is non verbal. One guy turned around and said 'you should give her a slap because that will shut her up.'"

"The lady next to us said 'why don't you let her out of her chair, she is frustrated', but Zara wasn't walking at the time."

Miss Shoots, 28 said: "It's been quite hard as she's got older on our relationship because she wouldn't come over for cuddles and for a long time we weren't sure if she knew the difference between me or a stranger in the street. She would just bump into anyone and not care who was around her."

Zara attends The Vale of Evesham School which Miss Shoots praised as being thier only support along with local health visitor Helen Boorman. 

Zara is non-verbal, and has global development delay which means she has the mental age of 9-12 month year old. She has low tone dystrophy which causes mobility issues. Her growth is above the 99centile so although she is two and a half she has the body of a 5-6 year old.

She also struggles sleeping through the night and wakes up for long periods of time.

Miss Shoots said: "During this time she can become very upset and throws herself aggressively against the side of her cot and kicks it causing injuries to herself. Zara needs to be ‘contained’ in order to feel safe and switch off at night otherwise she will pace until around 4am when she collapses from exhaustion. She has gone as long as 22 hours without sleep. The safe space will improve her sleep and increase the amount of sleep she has as well protect her from harm and be used as a sensory den in the day time."

The cost of the specialist bed Zara needs is £6800 and Miss Shoots has been refused funding as Zara is under 4.

Miss Shoots is on universal credit and sometimes uses foodbanks to feed her family.

Miss Shoots said: "We have lots of housing issues which is also holding back Zara's development mainly due to lack of space. No room for special equipment, dining area and lack of shower means we struggle to meet even her basic hygiene needs. Zara weighs 3.5 stone which I almost 1/3 of my body weight and I have to lift her around the house unaided."