Prime Minister Gordon Brown

(London, UK) Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown has spoken out for the first time on autism. Writing from Number 10 Downing Street, Gordon Brown had contacted the British autism campaigner Ivan Corea who has formed a new charity, the UK Autism Foundation campaigning specifically on behalf of families with autism who are below the poverty line.

The UK Autism Foundation came out of the work of the Autism Awareness Campaign UK founded in 2000 by parents and carers Ivan and Charika Corea. They have a 13 year old son with autism.

There are 60 million people with autism around the world. The campaigners called on G20 leaders who were at the G20 London Summit to reach out to the poor. Recently World Autism Awareness Day was marked on Thursday 2nd April 2009. World Autism Awareness Day was launched by the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year, on the recommendation of the State of Qatar. Campaigners around the world called on the United Nations to take decisive action on autism to mark WAAD 2009.

The UK Autism Foundation was a partner of World Autism Awareness Day and joined twenty charities in urging people to ‘Stand Up for Autism.’ UKAF has also supported Cheryl Gillan MP’s Autism Bill which is going on to the next stage in the House of Commons in the Palace of Westminster.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his letter to autism campaigner Ivan Corea said: ‘ We are determined that people with autism and their families get the support they need and deserve, and know that without it the condition can have a devastating impact. ‘

The Prime Minister has launched a range of initiatives on autism and he told the autism campaigner ‘I hope you will agree that the action the Government is already taking and will take in the coming months will prove an effective way of delivering the outcomes we all wish to see for people with autism and their families.’

Campaigners are calling on Her Majesty’s Government to end the postcode lottery in education, health, specialist speech therapy and respite care. UKAF has also urged Chancellor Alistair Darling to increase the tax credits, the disability living allowance and the carer’s allowance in the forthcoming Budget. Many families with autism are suffering as a result of the economic downturn and the deepening recession. Some have had to struggle to keep warm and they are in fuel poverty. Others have lost jobs in the present economic crisis and there is a growing concern over the re-possessions of homes of families with autism. UKAF has appealed to Prime Minister Gordon Brown to halt the re-possessions of homes belonging to families with autism.

There are over 500,000 people with autism in the United Kingdom. Many parents, carers,children and adults with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are struggling without proper public services.

Events were held around the world to mark the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day. It has helped raise awareness of the condition and the serious issues surrounding autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

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