At Peace in the Garden; Debbie Crombie Was a High-Flying Research Scientist before Giving It All Up to Look after Her Children - One of Whom Has Autism and ADHD. but Getting Back to Nature Has Helped Her Cope, as JANE HALL Reports

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Byline: JANE HALL

JAMES Crombie is 14 years young. You don't ask how old he is. Getting old is not something that he likes to dwell on.

His grandfather died last year, the first time the teenager had encountered death at close quarters. Now he associates growing older with dying.

He is a good looking boy on the verge of adulthood who towers over both his mum Debbie and older sister Cath. He appears to be in both good health and spirits as 16-year-old Cath and he walk arm-in-arm across the manicured lawns at Seaton Delaval Hall.

James is close to Cath, but like many a younger sibling he teases her good naturedly as he twirls her favourite necklace in front of her face. Except James isn't like other younger brothers.

He is autistic and has recently also been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, more commonly known as ADHD. Debbie looks on indulgently as she soaks up the late afternoon sunshine from her vantage point on a garden bench. …