(London, UK) The UK based Autism Awareness Campaign has urged British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor of the Exchequer Alastair Darling to reach out to the vulnerable and help families with autism during what is now a time of crisis. According to campaigners, the credit crunch will hurt the poor, the most vulnerable sections of society and this will include parents, carers and people with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Ivan Corea, head of the Autism Awareness Campaign UK said:’ Parents and carers have re-mortgaged their homes, taken expensive loans and borrowed money from friends and family in order to help their children – many have paid for expensive therapies – in the absense of public services in education, health, specialist speech therapy and respite care. The credit crunch will hit them hard. The Chancellor Alastair Darling must come up with contingency plans in order to help families with autism. He must help the poor,’ he said.

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder affecting over 500,000 people with autism in Britain, over 90,000 children are on the spectrum. According to UK researchers 1 in 100 children have autism.

Banks and building societies are refusing to pass on the mortgage rate cuts despite a £50 billion pound bail out from the Bank of England. The Autism Awareness Campaign has asked the financial world a question – who will bail out people with disabilities including families with autism? Banks too need to show the wider public how they plan to help the vulnerable if the credit crunch worsens – families with autism are faced with the terrible prospect of repossessions and may even sink under the burden of paying for heavy loans. Autism campaigners in the United Kingdom are urging members of parliament of all parties in the Palace of Westminster to ‘speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves,’ and reach out to the poor who are in desperate need.

A new charity, the UK AUTISM FOUNDATION is being launched in order to help the poor in the UK and also in Africa and Asia. Autism Campaigners have also called on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the UN General Assembly to take action over autism and help the poor in the Third World who are being hit hard by the rise in food prices and the rise in the cost of rice.

The United Nations marked the first ever World Autism Awareness Day on 2nd April – the day was a huge success for the UN. The Autism Awareness Campaign UK appealed to UN agencies such as UNICEF and the UNDP together with Britain’s DFID to reach out to families with autism who are below the poverty line. Millions suffer without proper public services.

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