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Gordon Brown urged to take up autism issue

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Published by webmaster for 24dash.com in Health

Gordon Brown

Autism Campaigner Ivan Corea has urged the Prime Minister Elect Gordon Brown to take up the issue of Autism when the most powerful job in the country is handed over to him on June 27.

Autism is now regarded as one of the most serious education and health issues facing the nation.

The issue has now been pushed right up the political agenda.

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder. An estimated 587,900 people have autism, according to UK Researchers 1 in 100 children in the United Kingdom may have autism.

Gordon Brown has pledged to focus on education as one of his main areas of action.

Ivan Corea, who heads the Autism Awareness Campaign UK, said: "I urge Gordon Brown to examine the Autism Report and map out a 10 year program of action. Autism as an issue not going to go away. Numbers are rising and parents, carers and people with autism need public services in education, health, specialist speech therapy and respite care. We need a national strategy on autism."

The Autism Awareness Campaign UK is calling for a building program of specialist autism schools open to all and for an Autism Compact - a national program with local councils and emplotyers to tackle the issue of access to the labour market for people with autism and Asperger's Syndrome.Only very small employment schemes exist, run by charities - there is a crying need for a national Autism Compact with employers.

The Autism Awareness Campaign UK was launched in 2000 in the UK by the Corea Family who have been lobbying non-stop for better public services for all people with autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

The inspiration behind their national campaign is their 11 year old son Charin who has autism spectrum disorder.

The campaign came out of their own suffering.

The family decided to get up and campaign for others in 2000 - despite facing rejection they persisted with the aim of changing policy and bringing about public services.

In 2002 their idea of Autism Awareness Year was supported by 800 UK organisations including major charities - The Disabilities Trust, British Institute for Brain Injured Children, National Autistic Society, Autism London, The Shirley Foundation among a range of organisations. The year was supported by the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, MPs and Peers in the Palace of Westminster.

In April , Mr Corea and Lee Scott MP met with Prime Minister Tony Blair in the House of Commons. They spoke with passion on autism and the need for Her Majesty's Government to reach out to parents, carers and people with autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

Lee Scott MP for Ilford North has been championing the cause of autism in parliament. He initiated a landmark debate on autism in March this year.

Scott is also pressing Gordon Brown on the issue.

Leading UK charities, community organisations and people from faith communities have backed the Autism Awareness Campaign's call for a cohesive national strategy on autism. Parliamentarians of all parties are also backing an early day motion on autism - EDM 1359 in the House of Commons calling for decisive action on autism through a 10 year perogram.

Parents and carers and people with autism have been appealing to the Government to end the postcode lottery to public services where autism and Asperger's Syndrome are concerned. 'There is a lot of suffering out there.  Some councils are not issuing statements and that means autistic children are not being given the support they need. There are so many issues and Gordon Brown must now deliver on public services where autism is concerned," said Mr Corea.

Recently a CD containing a song for autism called 'Open Every Door' sung by the award winning Sri Lanka-born singer/songwriter Nimal Mendis who is based in the UK was handed over to Gordon Brown.

Mendis has also joined musicians who are calling on the Prime Minister-Elect to take firm action on autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

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