Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:41 pm on 29th March 2018.

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Photo of Patricia Gibson Patricia Gibson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Consumer Affairs) 2:41 pm, 29th March 2018

As the right hon. Lady’s intervention shows, meeting the challenge will not be easy. We still have huge mountains to climb to make life better for people living with this condition.

All these challenges show why we must continue to highlight the condition. It is important not just that people living with this condition can access the support they need but that they feel supported and that they live in a society that does not overlook, shun or ignore them, as has happened too often in the past. The challenges facing those living with autism are not inevitable. With work and education, and by raising awareness and understanding of autism in our communities, much can be done to counteract the negative outcomes they too often face. That is why I want to put on the record the sterling work done in my constituency by community campaigners Suzanne Fernando and her family, Jordan, Arron and Kester. The Fernando family live with autism every day and have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the condition in their local community of Ardrossan and beyond, and have met with considerable success in doing so. Every year, they put in a huge amount of work to hold a coffee morning to disseminate information on the issue and offer support to those in the community living with the challenges of autism every day. As I have said, we know how isolating this condition can be.