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Cabinet member guest speaker at next autism support group meet

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, will be a guest speaker at the next meeting of a local support group for parents and carers of children and young people with autism on Thursday (18 January 2024).


Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. More than one in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and there are around 700,000 autistic children and adults in the UK.


Embrace Autism WV was established in 2019 after a group of parents attended an autism awareness course run by the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Special Needs Early Years’ Service.


It holds coffee mornings every four to six weeks, with the next taking place at The Special Needs Early Years Service, Warstones Primary School, Warstones Road, from 9.30am-11.30am on Thursday. All parents and carers of children and young people with autism are welcome.


Pooja Tewari, one of the founding members, said: “The sessions allow us a time as parents and carers where we can enjoy refreshments and hold great conversations about autism, sharing our personal experiences in a supportive and safe environment.”


Councillor Burden said: "Around one in 100 people are autistic, but it's thought that that number could be even higher, with many people never formally diagnosed.


“Embrace Autism WV is a place where people can connect with others on a similar journey, make new friendships, but also gain information and support from the parents and professionals who come along as guest speakers.

“I am delighted to have been invited to come along on Thursday to find out more about the group and discuss how we, as a council, can better help and support parents and carers of children and young people with autism.”

Parent Abi Selina said: "I joined the Embrace coffee mornings following my son's autism diagnosis. It has been a literal lifeline for me, from invaluable advice to encouraging support. I don't feel alone anymore, I'm constantly lifted up by everyone. We definitely need each other, and I'm so glad to be a part of something so special."


Leanne Tibbs added: "Embrace Autism WV's coffee mornings have been a game changer, not just for me, but for my family too. I’ve been able to bring along my husband, my parents and even my friends. They welcome everybody and I am so glad I’ve been able to connect with a group of people who just get it. No judgement, no preconceptions, just a great time.”


For more information, please email or search for ‘Embrace Autism WV’ on Facebook.

At the previous Embrace Autism WV coffee morning were parents and carers Pooja Tewari, Jo Strong, Julie Haywood, Kerry Harris, Natalie Brewer, Stacey Finch, Lois Raven, Leanne Tibbs and Les Ingram, with Debra Baker, Team Leader SNEYS, and Lauren Jones, Wolverhampton Information, Advice and Support Service Caseworker.


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