UN World Autism Awareness Day in Thursday 2 April is being marked in Liverpool with a special event at the Cunard Building.
Organised by Speke mum Julie Simpson, it will see young people and their parents come together at 6pm for a celebration which includes music by Liverpool Signing Choir and those taking part in a #flagupautism selfie, which has already been backed by local broadcaster Pete Price and former LFC star Jamie Carragher (pictured).
Julie is a member of Liverpool Autistic Children’s Alliance which supports parents, carers and young people with the condition. Her son, Joe, has autism and Julie is a passionate campaigner for greater understanding of the condition.
She said: “I feel very strongly about raising awareness of autism to try and make people understand how it affects children. As it is not a physical condition, people just assume young people with autism are being naughty.
“It is only by explaining to people about the condition that my child and others like him stand any chance of living a life like any other person rather than being judged or ridiculed by others.”
There are around 700,000 people in the UK with autism – more than 1 in 100 of the population.
There are also a number of events for autistic children and their families taking place during the Easter Holidays.
They include football sessions at Goals in Speke; wall climbing at Boulder in Widnes; Crazy Golf at Jungle Rumble in Liverpool One; an Autism Party at Go Kids in Speke and trampoline seasons run weekly by Leaps & Bounds at IM Marsh in Aigburth.