REACTION to the Gazette's story about autism sufferer Steven Neary being banned from returning home to his family generated a record-breaking online response.

Mark Neary, 51, of Penrith Close, Uxbridge, has been fighting to get his son returned home from the 'positive behaviour unit' in Colham Road, Yiewsley, and is now looking at taking the matter further with legal proceedings.

Steven, 20, a former Moorcroft School student, went into the centre for respite care in December for what was supposed to be just three days while his dad was ill.

He has only been allowed home on short visits and not to stay overnight in the family home.

Over 170 comments were left by readers on the story online, a record on the Gazette's pages.

Steven's father Mark, said: "It has been a fantastic response, I was glued to my computer pressing refresh seeing all the comments come through.

"We held a case conference last week with social services which was incredibly frustrating.

"All their evidence seems to be based on what Steven might do, rather than what he does."

Mr Neary, a counsellor, says that because of Steven's anxiety at being forced to live away from his family, he could be prone to outbursts, but this is all down to the anxiety of being at the centre, away from the loving support he would receive in the family home. Over 3,000 people have joined an online group backing the campaign to 'Get Steven Home'.

He added: "I can't see any other way of getting this sorted than taking this to a judicial review, I am scheduled to meet with a solicitor shortly to discuss the options."

Readers online were critical of Hillingdon Council, who had stated they could not discuss individual cases, although they claimed to always work closely with families to achieve the best for individuals.

Karen Adams wrote online: "Is there nobody in Hillingdon social care with common sense? Challenging behaviour because of an unsuitable residential placement and the solution is to remain in the placement until the behaviour improves? I despair."

Elizabeth McDougall added: "Why do these people want to work against Steven and his family? No one could know better how Steven feels or what he wants than his close family.

"They should be receiving support to help Steven live his life where he was obviously happier, (and) not have to fight. Get Steven home,

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