Plea to Susan Boyle to back autism bid
Updated 8:58am Saturday 22nd March 2014 in News
THE mum of a young York man with Asperger's Syndrome who was wrongly diagnosed as schizophrenic plans to use singer Susan Boyle's visit to York on Sunday to call for better support for adults with autism.
Stephen Hodgson was diagnosed as schizophrenic when he was 15. He was treated with anti-psychotic drugs, and as recently as last year was under section at a psychiatric unit in York.
Stephen, aged 28, was discharged last year after mental health bosses accepted he actually had Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, rather than schizophrenia.
He now lives in supported accommodation in York - but he is still not getting the specialist support he needs, said his mum Christine.
A new purpose-built centre to support teenagers and young adults with severe learning difficulties and disabilities was opened at at Askham Bryan College last year - but it only caters for those aged 16-24.
"Everything stops at 25," said Christine.
Ms Boyle revealed in December that she had been diagnosed with Asperger's in her 50s.
Christine will join a team of volunteers from mental health charity MIND who will be rattling tins to raise cash during the singer's concert at the Barbican on Sunday evening.
But Christine hopes to get a chance to speak to the singer and enlist her support for a call for better services in York for those aged 25 and over: including a skills centre and more specialist support.
"I'm hoping she will speak to me," Christine said. "We hope that she could highlight the issue."
A spokesman for City of York Council said:
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