In our Midlands region, we have a young person called R with moderate learning difficulties who is coming to the end of his first year studies at college. After being diagnosed with Autism from the age of 11, R has taken a keen interest in becoming a part of something bigger when it comes to raising awareness about Autism.
He applied and was selected to be given an amazing opportunity to join the National Autism Education Trust Panel, which is part of the Department for Education, in June 2019. Later the same month after attending just one panel meeting, he attended the National Autism Roadshow at London XL with his foster carer, Lynne. Alongside another young person with Autism, he gave top tips on how to support young people with neurological differences in front of hundreds of Educational professionals, standing confidently on the stage.
He says, “It was an amazing experience and opportunity to tell education providers our top tips for supporting students with Autism”. Lynne says “I was so proud of him being able to deliver the views of the panel in such a huge arena. He spoke clearly and with confidence. He is an amazing young man”
Following on from this positive experience he has now been involved in planning for the National NHS Expo in Manchester in September, where he will assist in delivering a workshop around how to improve communication within the NHS between health providers and young people with autism and mental health issues. He has also ended his first academic year with another amazing achievement, by being awarded ‘Student of the Year’ on his course at his graduation.
Congratulations to you for all of your recent achievements, we are very proud of the role you have taken in advocating for others to ensure that everyone receives the same opportunities in life as they should. Another massive congratulation to our foster carers Lynne & Chris for their hard work, determination and the role-modelling that they have shown this young person. The role of an advocate has been so paramount that it has encouraged and motivated this young person to be the voice for others and for that we can only admire him and congratulate him on his recent successes. Well done!
A Final word from our young person, “I am loving the opportunities I have been given and it has been a great year for me. In the future I am looking forward to even more opportunities to raise awareness about Autism as well as increasing my independence”