Saturday, October 23, 2010

British boy with Asperger's asks Prime Minister to spare disabled children's club from budget cuts

From BBC News:

A boy with Asperger's syndrome has sent a video message to David Cameron asking for a disabled children's club to be spared from spending cuts.

Mark Torr (pictured), 10, from Nottingham, is a member of Cool Kids, a project which organises meetings and trips and also publishes a quarterly magazine.

But the scheme is to stop in March next year after it lost £40,000 funding as part of wider cuts.

Parents and children said it provided vital support for families.

Cool Kids hold regular meetings and outings for Nottinghamshire families with a disabled child aged between 5 and 13.

Mark said: "I hope they will give us a little money to keep Cool Kids running.

"We don't need all the trips -just a place to meet and something to do."

Mark's mother, Helen, who works for the council supporting families with disabled children, said: "We realise cuts have to be made.

"But it is the impact it is going to have on these young people in the years to come.

"It's not just about the coming days or weeks."

The county council, which has also been sent a copy of the message, said no funds are being cut for teachers who work with children with autism or other conditions which affect their behaviour.

Deb Jones, from Cool Kids, said: "When these projects stop they will have nothing to do.

"Yes (the authorities) are going to put money into schools but these children don't have friends at school - their friends are in these projects.

"It has taken a long time to build up and then it is all suddenly going to end.

"And I am finding it hard to explain it to the children that they can't come to the projects to see their friends any more."