As you might be aware, my brother Alex's story has been getting quite a bit of attention. For those of you who don't know, his Facebook Page has been deactivated because he wasn't using his own name. This all came about due to my brother's condition: Autism.
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
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 (source: http://www.autism.org.uk).
I wrote an open letter to Facebook explaining the situation, in attempt to get his account restored, and I received so much support I'm still completely overwhelmed! You can read the letter here: on.fb.me/1Eicq8Y. There is also an article in The Daily Mirror which details the situation: http://bit.ly/1EQSnhX
I thought it would be nice to put all this attention to good use and raise awareness of the condition, which affects more than 1 in 100 people in the UK. Taking into account families as well, this is a huge amount of people affected every day by the condition, especially parents such as my own, Les and Claire. As mentioned above, my brother also a learning disability, meaning that his independence is very limited. This will affect the family for life, as is the case for so many other families. Even people with high-functioning autism benefit hugely from a bit of recognition of their condition, and it is nice for support to be available if they wish to seek it out.
It would be great to raise some money for The National Autistic Society, for help with support for individuals with Autism and their families. I know you usually have to do something crazy in these situations, like a sky dive or a sponsored run dressed as a giant animal. I'll see how the fundraising gets going first of all, but if you'd like me to take part in an embarrassing activity, I'm completely willing to do so. Throw your ideas my way, if it will make you donate more!!
Many many thanks and best wishes,