Trying to protect a child with special needs from being bullied is like trying to stop ice melting in the desert. There were calls to the school, meetings, promises of closer scrutiny in the playground. But basically, when it comes to defeating bullying - particularly when your child is an obvious target - a parent might as well be standing up to Voldermort with a butter knife.
Sometimes I ask myself whether there really is a fate or destiny to things, and it's hard to be sceptical when, three years later, I find myself (along with James Doherty of the National Autistic Society Scotland), not in Hollywood, but on a Scottish street late one Sunday night meeting Joss Whedon.
A team of researchers based at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, report that mothers who live near higher road traffic pollution during their pregnancy, and for the first year of their baby's life, suffer elevated risk of later autism in those children.