Co Tyrone restaurants join bring your own food scheme for autistic children

A number of restaurants in Co Tyrone have agreed to take part in a mum's 'bring your own food' scheme to help autistic children.

Máire Coyle has said she is thrilled that three restaurants in Dungannon have agreed to be part of a scheme that would allow the parents of autistic children to bring their own food for them when they are going out for a meal.

Her son Matty is autistic and part of his profile means he has a restrictive diet, which can make it hard for her family to go out for a meal together as they don't know whether or not he would eat the food that is on the menu.

The young boys favourite foods to eat are fish fingers and waffles.

Speaking to Belfast Live, Máire said that she came up with the idea while having an evening out with friends at a restaurant and while reading the menu she felt that it would be very difficult for her to go there with her family due to Matty's preferences.

She said: "I was out for a meal with a group of lovely ladies having a wonderful time and at the end we got to talking about how difficult it would be for us to bring our boys to a restaurant like this due to their restrictive diets.

"While there are many restaurants out there that are very accommodating for autistic children and families, providing quieter tables and things, we thought that it would be brilliant if some restaurants would allow you to bring the food that our little ones prefer to eat to be prepped in the kitchen.