Backbench Business - Services for People with Autismbackbench Business

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:13 pm on 21st March 2019.

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Photo of Martin Whitfield Martin Whitfield Labour, East Lothian 1:13 pm, 21st March 2019

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing the debate. I also congratulate Dame Cheryl Gillan on all the work that she has done on this issue.

The hon. Gentleman is making some important points, but does he share my annoyance about the fact that, unfortunately, autism seems to be one of those invisible disabilities? Many parents talk about the way in which others judge their children, saying that they are just being naughty. That failure of understanding goes to the heart of the problem faced by autistic children and adults, whose contribution to our communities is enormous, individual and highly important. We should be able to open our eyes to all the strengths that they bring to us, and make a space in which they can be understood through the services that the hon. Gentleman is talking about.