Greta Thunberg had stopped talking and eating at the age of 11 before she embarked on her mission to tackle the climate crisis, her mother has revealed.
In a new book, Malena Ernman said her 17-year-old daughter was almost mute when she was younger and was later diagnosed with “high-functioning” autism.
In extracts published in the Observer, opera singer Mrs Ernman described how Greta lost a stone and a half in weight over a two-month period and was “slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness”.
Image: Greta Thunberg will join a school strike in Bristol this Friday
“She stopped playing the piano. She stopped laughing. She stopped talking. And she stopped eating,” Ms Ernman said.
Alongside her husband, the actor Svante Thunberg, Mrs Ernman said struggled to understand why her daughter was silent so often and refused most types of food, except rice, avocado and gnocchi.
She added that Greta narrowly avoided being admitted to hospital before being diagnosed with autism by a psychiatrist after her father realised she was being bullied at school.
After the teenager began her school strike to protest over climate change, Mrs Ernman said her daughter was offered some vegan Thai noodles by a Greenpeace activist.
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“She takes a little bite. And another. No one reacts to what’s happening. Why would they?”, Mrs Ernman recalled.
“Greta keeps eating. Not just a few bites but almost the whole serving.”
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The book, written by the Thunberg family, is titled Our House Is On Fire: Scenes Of A Family and A Planet In Crisis.
Greta announced on Twitter over the weekend that she will take part in a school strike in Bristol this Friday.
The Swedish teenager has inspired a wave of climate protests since she first staged a demonstration outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018.
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She has gone on to discuss the climate crisis with high-profile figures including Prince Charles and former US president Barack Obama.
However, she has attracted criticism from US President Donald Trump, who has long disputed the seriousness of climate change.
The Bristol school strike featuring Greta will take place on College Green in the city at 11am on Friday.
Source : Sky News