An appeal went out to church leaders, Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop of Westminster and Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance to ‘speak out for those who cannot speak out for themselves’ by raising the serious educational and health issues connected with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome in the United Kingdom.

This appeal to church leaders in the UK was launched on Autism Sunday – the International Day of Prayer for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, on 11th February 2007.

Campaigners are concerned about the lack of public services in education, health, specialist speech therapy and respite care for the 535,000 people with autism in the UK; the failure of the secondary school system in dealing with educational strategies; bullying; campaigners have called on the Prime Minister Tony Blair to launch a 10 year program of building specialist autism schools for all and autism unnits/sensory rooms in secondary schools.

Last year Sir Al Aynsely-Green, the Children’s Commissioner in the UK said:

‘It’s appalling and it’s shameful for our country, the fifth richest economy in the world, to have so many (autistic) children that are not being looked after and given the resources they need to develop to their full potential.’

A recent UNICEF Report placed the United Kingdom at the bottom of a league table in terms of children’s well being. Autistic children are at the ‘bottom of the bottom of the pile’ according to campaigners.

Be Sociable, Share!