Autism group up for national award

The core leadership team of Parents Talking Asperger's
The core leadership team of Parents Talking Asperger's

A local autism support group run by volunteers is a finalist in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Professional Awards.

Parents Talking Asperger’s, based in Middleton Cheney, is shortlisted in the Most Innovative Family Support category.

Founder and principal Karen Irvani set up Parents Talking Asperger’s (PTA) in 2012 in a bid to find others like her son, who was then 12.

Since then PTA has grown dramatically, with parent members from nearly 2,000 families and a core team of 18 volunteers.A new servicefor primary school children, PTA Junior, launched last year, and the group has other services in development.

Karen said: “In this, our fifth anniversary year, I’m delighted and humbled that PTA has been shortlisted as a finalist in these prestigious awards. This is testimony to the hard work of all of our volunteers, funding gifts from private benefactors, and most of all to the children, young people and their families who treasure PTA as their ‘club’.

“We’re a Christian ministry and operate with love, backed up by our experience as autism parents, and collaboration with education and healthcare experts. We’re volunteers but are committed to delivering support and service that makes a positive difference to families.

“Mindful of that responsibility, I’m currently studying autism via the University of Birmingham, and other volunteers are studying other areas of Special Educational Needs.

“Learning about autism, and how best to support the families that live with it, never finishes.

“There’s something new to be learned every day.”

The Awards Gala Evening takes place in Harrogate in March, and most of the PTA core team will be attending.

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