|Ivan Corea presents an Autism Awareness Ribbon to HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales
||Ivan and Charika Corea of the
Autism Awareness Campaign in the United Kingdom have called on Her Majesty's Government to provide more public services for
the 520,000 autistic community in 2003, the European Year of the Disabled.|
Ivan and Charika Corea initiated 2002 as
Autism Awareness Year, it came about as a result of their anguish to access services for their son, Charin - it is the largest
ever movement for autism - 800 organisations came on board as partners of the year - it was an outstanding success in terms
of raising the profile of Britain's autistic community and about the condition.
However there is a great deal of unfinished
business. Parents, carers and autistic people desperately need public services.
Ivan and Charika Corea are calling
for an end to the postcode lottery to access basic education, health, specialist speech therapy and respite care for parents,
carers and autistic people in the United Kingdom.
'The time for action on autism - is now,' said Ivan Corea.
Our son Charin was born in the East End of London in the UK in 1996. When this bundle of joy was placed in my arms I could
only offer a prayer of thanks to God for this wonderful gift of life.
Charin seemed to develop normally.He smiled
at three weeks, babbled at 9 months, walked at one year. He loved looking at books, enjoyed listening to music and he started
doing complex puzzles at a very early age.
Suddenly it all went horribly wrong. At twenty months he stopped
It was extraordinary. A few months before it was as if he was on the verge of talking - here we were with
a baby who went into his shell and slammed the door on the outside world. I must add that the MMR vaccination was given when
he was eleven months.
We took Charin to the paediatrician who diagnosed pervasive developmental disorder which
refers to a whole group of disorders characterised by delays in the development of multiple basic functions including socialisation
Symptoms of PDD include severe communication problems such as understanding language; difficulty
to relating to people, objects and events, unusual play with toys and other objects; difficulty with changes in routine or
familiar surroundings and repetitive body movements or patterns.
Autism, the experts suggest, is a brain disorder
characterised by impaired social interaction and communication skills and limited activities and interests is the most characteristic
and best studied PDD.
Other types of PDD are Asperger's syndrome, Rett's Syndrome,childhood disintegrative disorders
Autism is a neuro- developmental disorder - all of us have neurones in our brains to process thought,they
need to fire in the correct order - in the brains of an autistic child or adult they don't fire at all or they just misfire.
That is why you cannot give an autistic child complex commands - everything has to be kept well and truly simple.
We are calling for more independent research on the causes of autism. Parents, carers and autists still don't know what really
causes autism - is it the MMR, is it genetic - a hundred and one questions come up when you think about autism.We see our
son Charin as a wonderful gift from God. He is indeed a very special person who brings us joy - we give thanks to God for
We welcome the work carried out by Her Majesty's Government. The DOH and the DFES have issued guidelines
to educational and health professionals to mark 2002 Autism Awareness Year. Autism will feature in the National Service Frameworks
Prime Minister Tony Blair is the first British Prime Minister in living history ever to talk
about autism in public - in the House of Commons and outside the Palace of Westminster. He has personally supported our campaign.
So has Iain Duncan Smith, the Leader of the Opposition, Charles Kennedy the Leader of the Liberal Democrats and hundreds of
parliamentarians of all parties.
We are calling for more public services in 2003 to help all autistic children and
adults in the UK.