Autism support group aimed at young people to launch in Diss

Diss Autism Support Group. Picture Danni Davies

Diss Autism Support Group. Picture Danni Davies - Credit: Archant

A new autism support group aimed at young people is being launched in South Norfolk.

Danni Davies who is setting up an Autism Support group in Diss. Picture Danni Davies

Danni Davies who is setting up an Autism Support group in Diss. Picture Danni Davies - Credit: Archant

When she was told she had autism at the age of 17, Danni Davies soon discovered the lack of support available to teenagers and young adults close to her home town of Diss.

Without access to a car, Danni was forced to use public transport to travel to Dereham or Norwich to get the support she needed.

That was no easy task, as catching a bus or train can pose a number of challenges for someone with autism.

'There's a whole multitude of things - a lot of anxiety, from the planning of the journey to the temperature of the train carriage and what side of the platform to stand on,' explained the 19-year-old.

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'Your body goes through everything. It's mentally draining and emotionally difficult.'

Following her own sometimes difficult experiences with GPs, at school and having to travel to receive the support she needed, Danni decided to set up her own autism support group to offer a safe space for people aged 16 to 25 in Diss.

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'I started thinking I couldn't be the only one in this situation,' she said.

'I felt quite isolated when I was diagnosed. Throughout my entire school life and in high school, it was quite difficult.

'It's difficult being bullied for being different but if you don't understand why you're different that's even worse.

'So, I wanted to set up a group that's about people understanding and accepting themselves.

'Straight away I want it to be a safe space, where people can talk.'

After taking to Facebook to see what support there would be for an autism support group, Danni started receiving lots of positive feedback.

Soon Danni was talking to lots of parents of young children with autism. However because of her own experience, Danni wanted to direct the group at older children and young adults.

After accessing help from South Norfolk Council Help Hub and Diss Town Council, Danni is now ready to launch the Diss autism support group.

The new group aimed at 16 to 25 year olds and their carers will on launch on Saturday, August 5 at Diss Youth and Community Centre.


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