AN East Kilbride mum ­coping with autism says a South Side support charity is her "lifeline".

Cosgrove Care, which is holding its second sponsored Fun Family Bike and Hike on June 22, provides respite services for Catriona McRoberts, whose five-year-old son Kyran has autism.

Catriona explains: "Without Cosgrove Care, I don't know where we would be.

"Kyran was diagnosed with autism when he was around one-and-a-half and when you have a child with the condition at that age, you very quickly realise there is not much help out there for you.

"I couldn't take him to toddler groups, or sports classes but I wanted him to have the same ­opportunities my other children had."

Catriona and her husband Allan, who have another son, Logan, 6, and a 13-year-old daughter, Georgia, believe Kyran has benefited enormously from the services ­provided by Cosgrove Care.

She said: "They provide respite care for us, which allows us to get some rest, or the kids can have friends round - when Kyran is in the house, you have to be on high alert as he is full of energy and has no sense of danger.

"The charity has been our ­lifeline - giving us a bit of normal family time to do things most ­others take for granted."

She smiles: "Kyran loves going out on trips and attending the summer playscheme as he loves to play. He comes home happy and that means a lot to us."

BBC Children in Need provides a three-year grant of £30,116 to Cosgrove Care for its Family Connexions project which encourages learning together through play.

The project runs summer holiday activity days, outings and play therapy sessions to help ­disabled young people to have fun, make friends and increase their emotional well-being.

Cosgrove Care's Fun Family Bike and Hike takes place in Rouken Glen Park on Sunday at 1.30pm and costs £5 per person - for more information, call 0141 620 2500 or visit www.cosgrove