Autism Awareness Campaign - United Kingdom

The Autism Campaign in 2003
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Ivan and Charika Corea urged the Labour Party's 'conviction politicians' to 'speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.'

Ivan Corea met with Tony Blair at the 2003 Labour Party Conference

Chancellor Gordon Brown said he would look at the campaign's concerns

The appeal went out to the Labour Party at the 2003 Labour Party Conference held in Bournemouth in October.
Ivan Corea met the Prime Minister Tony Blair, Chancellor Gordon Brown, Health Minister Dr.Stephen Ladyman  and other Ministers.
Earlier the Chancellor Gordon Brown said he wanted to share the pain of the people. Ivan Corea urged the Chancellor to feel the pain of parents, carers and the autistic community.

'We need Labour politicians to speak out for parents, carers and autists who need more public services in health, education, specialist speech therapy and respite care,' said Ivan Corea in Bournemouth.

The Minister for Children Margaret Hodge speaking at an autism fringe meeting at the Labour Party Conference stated that it will take 10 years until the National Service Frameworks for Children is implemented.

'But what do we do until then, my son is 7 he has no specialist speech therapy does this mean I will have to wait 10 years for public services - parents, carers and autists find it unacceptable,' said Ivan Corea.

The Coreas urged real and urgent action. Autism is a time bomb waiting to happen. The UK media seems to focus only on the MMR Controversy. But what about the 520,000 people who desperately need public services. Our children have no specialist speech therapy, no real classroom support in many areas of the UK, no respite care for parents and carers.

'Public services do need reforming, but autistic children and adults are suffering and struggling without ANY public services,' said Ivan Corea.

Time and time again parents, carers and autists come up against a wall of indifference, apathy and cost cutting. It is absolutely immoral - autistic children and adults are being denied their fundamental human right tp public services - in many areas of the UK, despite Prime Minister Tony Blair's strong comments on equality of opportunity and social justice.

Tony Blair, to his credit is the first British Prime Minister ever to talk about autism. Parents, carers and Autists are urging the Prime Minister to take urgent action and provide the Autistic Community with public services.

The Autism Awareness Campaign UK have called upon the Government with the support of the Labour Party to -

* set up an AUTISM REGISTER in the UK where every Autistic child and adult is registered.

* Schools should be the focus for co-ordinating the SERVICE PROVISION for each and every autistic child in the UK. If there are gaps, local councils, local education authorities and NHS Trusts must be held accountable. At the moment there is confusion as to who provides what for autistic children.

*Schools should organise regular meetings - every term - of health, education, social services, speech therapy services, voluntary sector, parents and carers, so that they could meet together to assess and evaluate the progress of every autistic child. Joint working and joined up thinking is absolutely crucial where autistic children are concerned.

*Leisure services are virtually non-existent for people with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome in the UK.The Autism Awareness Campaign in the UK have appealed to Margaret Hodge, the Minister for Children to order and urgent review of leisure services for people with disabilities. In some areas, parents and carers have had to beg for swimming lessons from their local pool for autistic children as many centres do not have any provision for children with SEN.

*The DfES must come up with special assessments for autistic children who are unable or are not entred for GCSE and A Level examinations. At the moment there are no qualifications for autistic children andadults. The DfES must also initiate a UK RECORD OF ACHIEVEMENT - for every autistic child and adult -informing potential employers the positive skills bank an autistic person has - in order for them to access the world of work.

*Autistic people need special schemes into further education and higher education.

*We need tougher new laws on discrimination and employment - where people with disabilities are concerned.

*The Government must safeguard the rights of autistic people where the Anti-Social bill and the Mental Health Act is concerned.

These are only a few concerns shared by Ivan and Charika Corea of the Autism Awareness Campaign in the United Kingdom. They have urged Tony Blair, the leader and the Labour Party to re-connect with people with Disabilities, including the Autistic Community.

The campaign presented their concerns to Junior Health Minister Dr.Stephen Ladyman at the Conference

We raised our concerns with Minister for Children Margaret Hodge