A little boy who suffers from autism has discovered a new lease of life after taking up motocross racing.

Six-year-old Joel Wright from Malvern has a range of conditions, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), speech problems and autism.

Joel was finding it extremely difficult to communicate and was falling badly behind in schoolwork.

But since dad Neal introduced him to motocross two months ago, his life has changed for the better.

Neal said: "I used to ride bikes but I sold them when the children came along. When I introduced Joel to it, he took to it like a duck to water and we haven't looked back since."

Joel is now a motocross club member and came 13th out of 40 in his first race.

"He loves it and it uses up his energy naturally so we don't have to rely so much on drugs to control him," said Neal.

He added that Joel's schoolwork and relationships with Grove School pupils had come on leaps and bounds since he took up the sport.

"Before, he would just sit and giggle when teachers tried to talk to him and other children wouldn't play with him because he wouldn't speak to them," Neal explained.

"But now he tells everyone how the races went, plays with children and the teachers can use the races to help him with number games."

Neal said Joel's behaviour can change dramatically from one minute to the next but that his new hobby had given him something to focus on.

"He can be sitting down calmly and the next minute he'll have smashed a window or door.

"I've bought him a tool kit, and shown him how to take the bike apart to clean it - it keeps him interested and helps him learn how things work."

He said children with ADHD and autism may face problems with careers later in life.

"We're hoping that we can encourage him to learn about what he likes now so he could go into mechanics and engineering."

Joel is already sponsored by Infosigns and English Braids but Neal, who has five other children, is now looking for more sponsors so Joel can continue in the sport.

"We really need funding to help Joel," he said.

"We want to keep him going, but it is very expensive."

Neal can be contacted on 01684 560742.