Yesterday I spoke in the debate in the House of Commons Chamber to mark World Autism Awareness Week. Like all other MPs who spoke, I value the diversity of viewpoints and ways of approaching the world which people with autism bring to public life.

However, due to lack of public understanding, public space is often designed in a way which creates difficulties for autistic people and problems getting into work. Figures from a new survey from the National Autistic Society show that autistic people are four times as likely as the rest of the population to experience loneliness.

MPs from across the House discussed different ways of increasing autistic people’s access to education, employment and public life.

I focussed on preventing and dealing with loneliness. I also highlighted what my team and I have been doing in Bristol to make our city more autism-friendly and hopefully reduce or prevent loneliness.

in her closing speech, the Government minister assured me she will work closely with the Minister with responsibility for loneliness to ensure the voices and needs of people with autism are included.

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