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Family help raise autism awareness at Thatcham event

“You can live with autism and it is ok.”

John Herring

Reporter:

John Herring

Family help raise autism awareness at Thatcham event

A West Berkshire family helped people learn about autism, at an awareness event recently.

Organiser Kirilynn Gardner was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome last month, at the age of 34, and her 12-year-old son Finn has autism.

She said that her life had been a rollercoaster since her son was diagnosed high-functioning Asperger’s, when he was six-years-old.

Mrs Gardner, an activites coordinator at Mary Hare School who runs Cole’s Diner and Happy Days Autisitc Club, decided to hold an event to change people’s perceptions of the condition.

She said: “I want to break people’s opinion of autism and show that you can lead a typical life, work in a good job, get married have a good relationship, have children and bring them up like any other parent despite having to work harder to fit in and be accepted.

“You can live with autism and it is ok.”

The awareness day was held at the Nature Discovery Centre, Thatcham, last Wednesday.

Finn explained autism to families dropping in and how it effects him, while Mrs Gardner spoke about her work at Happy Days.

The event raised just over £140, through selling sweets and finding teddy bears on a nature trail.

Ms Gardner said the day was tiring, but worth every minute if the family had been able to change one person’s view on autism.

Mrs Gardner said: “If I can help just one person not go through the life I have then it will all be worth it.

“Everyone deserves someone to believe in them so they can achieve something in their life.

“I hope I can help make that difference for someone else.”

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