Autism on the agenda at events in Edinburgh & Glasgow

Debbie Byers Posted on March 26, 2019 in Blog

When launching Speaker Buzz, we set out to make a big difference to the world, in our own small way, by showcasing inspirational speakers who give life-changing talks.

Having started with 5 speakers, our roster has grown to almost 20-strong with bookings across the UK and beyond. And now we are taking the next step with the launch of our own events which we hope will further inspire people and change lives.

To coincide with Autism Awareness Week (1-7 April), our speakers broadcaster Stuart Cosgrove and communications specialist John Hatfield will host two special events sharing their experiences of being fathers of autistic children.

A conversation with fathers about autism’ events

The ‘A conversation with fathers about autism’ events will take place on Monday 1st April at Glasgow Film Theatre and Wednesday 3rd April at Whitespace, Edinburgh.

With more than 700,000 autistic people in the UK, and more than 50,000 in Scotland, we want to put autism on the agenda.

Broadcaster, author and media personality Stuart Cosgrove will be speaking publicly for the first time about his six-year-old son’s autism diagnosis. Stuart is a widely recognised media figure having been a senior executive with Channel 4 for many years, a successful author and one half of BBC Scotland’s ‘Off the Ball’ team.

He will be joined by John Hatfield who has a teenage son with Asperger syndrome.
John is a media and communications specialist and board advisor to the National Autistic Society.

Intimate and informed events

The ‘A conversation with fathers about autism’ events will focus on the personal experiences of these two fathers who are at two very different stages in their autism journey. The aim is to encourage more fathers to be open about their own situations and experiences.

Having an autistic child can put pressure on relationships, with 80% of marriages affected by autism ending in divorce.

The intimate conversational events will see Stuart and John share their experiences of autism in their families. The pair will discuss the physical, mental and emotional impact of autism in a family, educational and social environment.

The events will be suitable for parents or carers of a child with an autism diagnosis, those concerned about childhood development, professionals working in education, social care or the third sector and employers wanting to understand autism’s effect on their workforce.

Sharing experiences of autism

Stuart said: “I’ve never spoken publicly about my son’s diagnosis, but it is obviously a huge part of my life. I’ve been researching all aspects of autism and the neuroscience since it entered my world. When I was introduced to and met John, I got more out of the two-hour conversation with him than I had done from any medical journal, book or meeting I’d had.

“His honest and frank insight into his experience as a father of a son with autism allowed me to learn so much more and I hope that by sharing our experiences in this way, we can help others to learn about this condition.”
John added: “My teenage son has Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism. This is a topic I’m very passionate about and through my own experiences and my work with the National Autistic Society, I want to help debunk the myths around autism and highlight the incredible achievements of autistic people.”

​Tickets for each event are £13.25 including booking fees, with a donation of proceeds being made to the National Autistic Society.

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