autism awareness sign now





My name is Nicola Clark. I am mum to two girls both of whom have Autism. I decided to place this petition on the website as I'm desperately frustrated by the reponse they get from the public. Emily who is ten and has Autism, epilepsy and learning difficulties, is regularly shouted at and sworn at for making her "weird noises" and Lizzy who is 13 and has Asperger's Syndrome is routinely bullied at school.

There are over half a million people in the UK alone who have Autism. Our experiences are common to many of them. When you broaden that to encompass their families, friends and carers who suffer this abuse along with them it is a shocking neglect of vulnerable people and a lack of support for those of us who love them.

It stems from fear and ignorance of the condition.

I want the government to make a series of public information films in the form of adverts to bring furthur awareness to the condition, so that people realise that they are not naughty children, out of control adolescents or "weird" adults but human beings. Disabled by their condition, disenfranchised from society and failed by a system geared mainly for the neurotypical mainstream. I feel that as there is no tangible symbol of their condition they are judged and the verbal and physical abuse they suffer remains largely unchallenged. They have a right to life, to education, to appropriate healthcare, and to find their place in society without fear of abuse or attack.

I have tried to remember the first real clue I had as to how my daughter Emily's life would be, after she was diagnosed seven years ago.

I realised that the reality of her disability was made real to me by other people's reactions to her. It was society that first disabled her not Autism.

Please help me to bring about real change.

I would be most grateful





Also we are on the bbc.co.uk website. If you enter Autism in the keyword search on the left of the home page our interview pops up on the right.

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