Tony McNulty MP Visits London Autism Centre

February 4, 2009 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Tony McNulty MP, Minster of State at the Department for Work and Pensions and Minister for London is to meet with adults with autism during a visit to The National Autistic Society’s flagship autism centre in Ladbroke Grove, West London on Wednesday 4th February.

As the minister responsible for piloting the Welfare Reform Bill through Parliament, Mr McNulty will discuss with adults with autism their experiences of the benefits system, what people with autism have to offer in the workplace and the support they may need to do this.

Tony McNulty MP, Minster of State at the Department for Work and Pensions said: “I’m very pleased to be able to hear, first hand, from adults with autism about their experiences of finding and retaining jobs and how the welfare reforms will affect them. I know that many people with autism want to work and have valuable skills to offer prospective employers, but with only 15% of adults with the condition currently in full time paid employment, the need to address the unique barriers to work faced by people with autism is clear”.

Robyn Steward, one of the adults with autism meeting the minister said: “This is a great opportunity for us to engage directly with the government and tell them about the difficulties adults with autism experience. Many of us have a great deal to offer, but autism is a complex ‘hidden disability’ so the level of help we need isn’t always obvious to people with no knowledge of the condition.”

The Ladbroke Grove Autism Centre is a base for numerous projects including the NAS Prospects employment and training service, which provides people with autism help in finding, preparing for and securing paid employment, and provides ongoing support within the workplace.

The centre provides much-needed help, support and information for children and adults with autism and their parents and carers from across London, including youth clubs, play schemes, parent/carer support groups, social groups and supported living advice.

– Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.

– Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.

The National Autistic Society is the UK’s leading charity for people with autistic spectrum disorders and their families. Founded in 1962, it continues to spearhead national and international initiatives and provide a strong voice for all people with autism. The NAS provides a wide range of services to help people with autism and Asperger syndrome live their lives with as much independence as possible.

The NAS relies on the support of its members and donors to continue its vital work for people with autism. To become a member, make a donation or to find out more about the work of the NAS, visit the NAS website

National Autistic Society



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