Parents have spoken of their wishes to build a centre for children with autism.

Aaron and Rachael Pearson are looking to raise £50,000 for the Autism Inclusion Centre. The couple, from Denmead, have a son with the condition and want to expand on Rachael’s charity Autism Isolation No More which she runs from their front room.The centre will create a place where children with autism and their families can go to have fun and relax.

Aaron and Rachael’s plans come just days after the pair were both successful in winning national awards. Rachael won the Positive Role Model for Gender Award at the National Diversity Awards after she turned their living room into a sensory space for youngsters with autism.Meanwhile, Aaron won £10,000 worth of building materials after winning Jewson’s Building Better Communities Trade Hero 2018 award.

Rachael said: ‘We want to try and buy a piece of land so we can build a log cabin and move all our services from our living room there. ‘There will be a place for all the sensory equipment and children and families can go in and relax, parents can chat and join in a play session and stay for longer.’At the moment I can only work with families on an individual basis but I want to hold group events.

That’s beneficial for the children because social interaction is more enjoyable for them.’A number of Rachael’s family members are autistic including her two sons, her brother and nephew.She added: ‘I saw the lack of support my mother had with children with autism, it affected my life. If she had support there are so many things that could have been different.

‘As a parent of a child with autism you can feel lonely, the sleep deprivation is awful.’I provide support for parents and want them to know they’re not alone, I’ll never judge.’

Rachael and Aaron will use the prize from Jewson to help start the log cabin but need funds to get it off the ground. Aaron said: ‘We’ve got the building materials now we’re basically trying to get the project off the ground.‘It’s a mission we both have and it would fulfil us.’

Anyone wishing to donate should visit

Source – Written by Ellie Pilmoor & Tamara Siddiqui as featured in The News –

Paddy McGuinness has revealed that he plans to launch a new TV show about his life as the father of autistic children.

The Take Me Out host admitted to John Bishop that his life was changed forever following the birth of his three children, all of whom have the condition.

Speaking to John Bishop on his In Conversation series, Paddy revealed: ‘I’m just working on it at the minute, I’m going to be doing a programme about it, because I feel that strongly about it.’

‘There’s this scale and it’s like “where are you on the autistic spectrum?” – they’re saying that’s gone now and there isn’t a scale. But I believe there still is, because you can walk into a room with a child with autism and it can be very, very extreme, you can spot it straight away.

‘That child might be doing something like rocking backwards and forwards, being non-verbal. Like sensory, touching things with their tongues – you can instantly see it.’

‘Then you can go into another room, with another child with autism, and they’ll be sat playing with a toy, and you wouldn’t think anything of it,’ he added. ‘Then all of a sudden they can burst into tears and have a real meltdown because the toy isn’t doing what it thinks it should do.’

‘It’s a really, really tricky one to deal with, autism’

Paddy’s twin son and daughter Leo and Penelope, 5, were diagnosed with autism, and wife Christine has previously admitted fears that their daughter Felicity, 2, may also be autistic.

Since the revelation last year, Christine has become a spokesperson for those dealing with autism, and has openly discussed the struggles they face as a family as a result.

This includes the children’s struggle to socialise, to being unable to put up Christmas decorations due to their sensory requirements.

‘We had absolutely no idea they had autism even though the signs were there,’ she said on Loose Women in July last year.

‘They were non-verbal until they were three, they both walked on their tip toes, they didn’t socialise very well, they still do struggle with socialising with other children.

‘That’s probably one of the most heart-breaking parts of it because that’s just something you expect your children to do, go and make lots of friends. It is quite common for children and adults with autism to struggle with socialising.’

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

Autistic people see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you are autistic, you are autistic for life; autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be ‘cured’. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.

Source: The Metro

Joshua Beckford won the positive Role Model of the year award for age at the National Diversity Awards 2017. He has now been listed in the top 30 most remarkable people in the world with Autism who have impacted on society.

Joshua Beckford has never been the typical child. At two years old, he quickly mastered reading fluently using phonics and was speaking Japanese by the age of three. At the age of six he became the youngest person in the world to study Philosophy and History at the prestigious University of Oxford in England, gaining a distinction in both subjects.

In 2011, his father wanted to challenge his son, so he wrote to the university to see if he could participate in a philosophy course for bright children between the age of eight and thirteen. They agreed, and Joshua was the youngest student ever accepted. He even passed with distinction.

So, what does a super scholar study? Joshua excels at science, math, history, foreign languages and history. He dreams of being a neurosurgeon and is well on his way by practicing gall bladder removals and appendectomy procedures.

“Since the age of four, I was on my dad’s laptop and it had a body simulator where I would pull out organs. I want to save the earth. I want to change the world and change peoples ideas to doing the right things about earth.”

When he isn’t studying and achieving more than many adults, Joshua also serves as the face of the National Autistic Society’s Black and Minority (BME) campaign. Diagnosed with high functioning autism himself, Joshua helps to spread the campaign’s mission of highlighting obstacles blacks face when trying to obtain access to necessary autism support and services.

In 2017 Joshua won the Positive Role model award for age at the National Diversity Awards.


Boost for 1,000 people with learning disability or autism

About 1,000 young people with a learning disability or autism are to be offered paid work placements as part of a £10m project.

Engage to change will help those taking part with one-on-one job coaching, job matching and interview training.

It is hoped it will help to increase people’s confidence and independence.

The project has received a grant from the Big Lottery Fund in partnership with the Welsh Government.

Project manager Jenna Trakins, from charity Learning Disability Wales, said: “With only 6% of people with a learning disability and 16% of people with autism currently in full time employment, there is clearly a lot of work ahead of us.

“We have met some inspirational young people on our project who have very clearly demonstrated how their disability does not hold them back from achieving their employment goals.”

‘Employers could offer alternatives to interviews’

Max, 26, from Cardiff was diagnosed with autism in 2016 which causes him anxiety.

“I often get very frustrated, especially after receiving rejection from jobs and find it quite difficult to manage these feelings so they often manifest into depression,” he said.

“Saying that, I think my autism makes me equally determined to succeed.

“I have been able build up my confidence through placements, I still find interviews quite hard and my confidence and self-esteem can take a knock quite easily, as my autism makes me quite sensitive to rejection.

“I feel employers could be more flexible in their recruitment processes and more could offer alternatives to interviews, which those with autism, including myself, often find very difficult to express themselves in.

“This could be through things such as work trials.”

Original Source – BBC News,

Microsoft says it wants to hire more people with autism in full-time roles.

The tech giant is to start by offering 10 places on a pilot scheme based at its Redmond headquarters.

Senior executive Mary Ellen Smith said: “People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft.”

The UK’s National Autistic Society welcomed the move but said that other firms should do more to tap into the skills offered by many people with autism.

Announcing the new scheme in a blog, Ms Smith said: “Each individual is different, some have an amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code.”

Specialist recruitment firm, Specialisterne, will help run a new hiring scheme.

The firm, which operates in Denmark and the UK, works with several IT companies, and in other sectors, to promote the skills of people with autism for specific vacancies.

Sarah Lambert, from the National Autistic Society, said: “It’s encouraging to see a global company like Microsoft recognise the untapped potential of adults with autism.

“Many may have strengths such as accuracy, a good eye for detail and reliability, which can benefit all sorts of businesses, not just the technology industry.

“However, at the moment, just 15% of adults with autism in the UK are in full-time employment.

“Simple adjustments, like making job interviews more accessible and providing support to help those in work understand the ‘unwritten rules’ of the workplace can unlock the potential of a whole section of society.”


Written By: Rory Cellan-

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