Ranil Jayawardena attended an event by the National Autistic Society last week. They are the leading UK charity for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families, and are currently supporting 100,000 people a year. They provide information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism.
Ranil met local families and heard moving testimonies from people living with autism, a lifelong condition which affects over 3,000 people in every Parliamentary constituency.
Ranil said: ‘I was impressed and moved by what I heard today from people living with autism. More than 1 in 100 people in the UK have the condition and many have battled to get their needs identified, diagnosed, understood and then met. We heard how negative public attitudes and misconceptions about autism can harm families and individuals and limit their opportunities
‘It is essential that we transform the understanding of autism, and make sure everyone living with autism gets the support they need. The ultimate aim is to have a world where all people living with autism get to lead the life they choose.’
Jane Asher, President of the National Autistic Society, said: ‘Awareness of the word autism has increased dramatically since I first became involved many years ago, but understanding of this complex condition is still desperately low, that’s why I'm very grateful that Ranil and other MPs came to the event.’