Pledge to champion autism awareness

Labour MP Karin Smyth has pledged to promote more autism awareness across her Bristol South constituency.

She heard testimonies at a Westminster event from people living with autism, a lifelong condition which affects some 3,000 people in Bristol South, and many more across the whole of the city.

“Negative public attitudes and misconceptions about autism can really harm families and individuals, limiting their opportunities,” she said. “I want to take every opportunity possible to actively promote more local awareness of the condition, and to improve access to public spaces, employment and services.”

“It’s also important that we help empower those who work with and support people who have autism.”

Earlier this year, a Bristol South resident, Jacky Wyatt, who teaches at Hillcrest Primary School, Totterdown, was honoured by the National Autistic Society with the prestigious national Award for Achievement by an Individual Education Professional.

President of the National Autistic Society, Jane Asher (pictured with Karin Smyth) added: “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.

“Parliamentarians have the power to make a real change in the lives of those with autism by helping us to spread understanding among their local communities.”