A MUM was left in tears after she was allegedly told to leave a leisure centre by staff because her autistic toddler was being “too disruptive”.

Jessica Aston said she explained her two-year-old has severe special educational needs (SEN) after a staff member at Liberty Leisure Centre supposedly told her to take him outside but said she received no apology.

The 39-year-old’s son, Lewis, was crying briefly while in the café next to the centre’s play area, she said, adding it has made her anxious about taking him out again.

However, the club said it firmly disputes the circumstances and “any allegation of discrimination” made against Mrs Aston, claiming it had received a noise complaint before taking action and the child was not supervised.

Lewis was in the café with his mum and grandmother Veronica Harvey, 64, while his siblings Ronnie and Jenson took part in a multi-sports session on Friday, November 22 around 5pm.

“The time it took for them to get involved he had stopped crying and continued playing,” said Mrs Aston, from Redditch. “He is like any child, he cries sometimes but it wasn’t for very long.

“It was appalling, absolutely appalling. I explained he has developmental delay and is non-vocal.”

She said she was told by the staff member “you could shut him up and take him outside” and that “people come here to relax and he is stopping them doing that”.

“I burst into tears. It got to me because it made me think, are we going to have this all the time because he can’t communicate and gets upset. It was so heart-breaking.

“We’re in unknown ground and I worry about his future,” she continued.

“They advertise themselves as child-friendly but then complain when they are making any noise.

“We are anxious because he is so young and they [specialists] have only just recognised his special needs.

“He hasn’t dropped down in his levels yet and at the moment he is quite high.

“He would not be able to tell you if something is wrong, so he would cry. That’s all it is.”

Mrs Aston said she has emailed the club numerous times to complain but has had no response.

“I expected an apology, I didn’t get one but I think people need to be made aware of what happened.

“If you are not child friendly why have you got a creche and play area? It’s for everybody to use,” she added.

A club spokesman said on the day in question staff received a noise complaint from a member in the restaurant.

On investigation, they found a “considerably distressed child without child supervision” lying at the foot of a busy staircase.

They said they checked Lewis’s membership record for any disabilities or SEN, as per health and safety policy, of which they say there was none, before approaching the family to “highlight the danger and offer assistance”.

The spokesman added once the staff were made aware of Lewis’ SEN, they “apologised on numerous occasions”.

They went on to say: “Liberty Leisure are proud to be a diverse and inclusive facility, welcoming to those of all ages, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, disability and ethnicity.

“An environment where everyone can access and enjoy leisure activities, as both an equal and an individual.

“We feel that the incident has been handled professionally throughout (and ongoing) with the care, health and safety of our customers at the heart.”

They said as per Mrs Aston’s wishes, all the family’s memberships were discontinued and a cancellation and full refund was issued.