View from the House - MP Lee Scott on Autism Sunday

Autism Sunday is the international day of prayer for autism and Asperger’s syndrome. It was founded by local parents and carers Ivan and Charika Corea and is now in its 12th year.

It has grown to become a significant worldwide event drawing wide attention to this issue. Our recent annual event took place at All Saints Church and was attended by the Mayor Cllr Felicity Banks, council leader Keith Prince and his wife, myself and many parents and supporters.

I was concerned to learn from a report from the Ambitious about Autism charity that young people with the condition are being excluded from school or asked to attend part-time. Some are being barred from some school activities or trips.

More than 70 per cent of autistic youngsters are taught in mainstream schools and significant funding has been allocated to allow this to happen. However, there are concerns by many parents. And some teachers are worried about a lack of training to help address these issues. There is uncertainty about how many families are involved and there may well be a case for further detailed study. I have submitted a written Parliamentary question on the subject to the Secretary of State for Education.

It is impossible to ignore the appalling weather the UK has experienced over the past few months.

I pay tribute to the three emergency services and the army. They did a first rate job in extraordinary circumstances. There is a general agreement that this weather is somewhat different from what we consider as normal. Once the clear-up operations are over there must be full evaluation of our response and a reassessment of how to handle such incidents in the future.

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