As an Autism Advocate consultant, Mother to 2 Autistic daughters and a Autistic adult myself I know the power of change the Autistic community holds .
When we grieve ,we galvanise . Oliver's untimely and tragic passing cannot go in vain . It is therefore a privilege to support Paula and the McGowan family and Olivers campaign.
The public response to Paulas petition for mandatory learning disability and autism training for all healthcare staff shows the need to make this long overdue need a reality .
All too often Autism is confused as a mental health condition resulting in misdiagnosis, misunderstanding and needlessly medicating Autistic people at a cost to the the patient ,their families and the NHS .
Autistic women and girls face hurdles in pregnancy, childbirth and smear tests with serious health consequences.
Our pain thresholds can differ meaning we may be unable to timely report illness or injury or communicate the severity of our pain .
Research shows Autistic people with a learning difficulty have an average life expectancy of just 37 years of age ; those Autistic adults without a learning disability still have on average a life expectancy 15 years lower than the national average .
This must stop , and the end starts with front line health care professionals understanding .
We are grateful to the NHS and we want to help you help us .
Autistic adults are an expert by experience of Autism ,with only 16% in full time paid employment there is a untapped ,knowledge fuelled workforce in waiting to work with government to do just that .
So what are we waiting for ?
This is for you Oliver ,
Carly Jones MBE