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Norwich landmarks to be lit up to support World Autism Awareness Day

PUBLISHED: 16:37 30 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:45 30 March 2018

Joanna Corbyn, right, with her autistic daughter Darcie, four, and Dee Smith, and her autistic son Harry, four, at Norwich Castle which will be lit up over Easter for World Autism Awareness Day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Joanna Corbyn, right, with her autistic daughter Darcie, four, and Dee Smith, and her autistic son Harry, four, at Norwich Castle which will be lit up over Easter for World Autism Awareness Day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

Norwich Castle and City Hall are being lit up in pink and purple to raise awareness for World Autism Awareness Day on Monday.

The illuminations were the idea of Joanna Corbyn, from Old Catton, whose daughter, Darcie, four, has severe autism and sensory processing disorder.

Mrs Corbyn has also been working on a film raising awareness about autism with Norwich mum Dee Smith, who has a four-year-old autistic boy called Harry.

The film - available to view on this story - features Norwich youngsters with autism donning superhero outfits which display different slogans to change people’s perception of children with the condition.

Mrs Corbyn said she hoped the video would be shared widely on social media and that she also wanted the video to show the support available from charities including NANSA and the National Autistic Society.

Joanna Corbyn, with her autistic daughter Darcie, four, at Norwich Castle which will be lit up over Easter for World Autism Awareness Day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYJoanna Corbyn, with her autistic daughter Darcie, four, at Norwich Castle which will be lit up over Easter for World Autism Awareness Day. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mrs Corbyn, who is Darcie’s full-time carer and also has a 15-year-old daughter, said: “We [Norwich parents] are raising awareness for World Autism Week. There are some people who are autistic who can do the most amazing jobs, for example scientists or mathematicians.

“We are trying to change people’s attitudes. Autism is becoming more common. We want to show that children with autism can accomplish things.

“There are so many children with different abilities - we want to show them off.”

The 37-year-old, who first thought of the idea of the video and illuminations a few months ago, said that some autistic children did not look like they had a disability which made some people dismiss them or think badly of their behaviour.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

Autistic people can have difficulties with social communication, interaction, repetitive behaviours and sensory issues.

City Hall will be illuminated in pink and purple - the colours of the National Autistic Society - until Tuesday and the castle will be lit up on Easter Monday, the end of World Autism Awareness Week.

People are being encouraged to meet outside City Hall on Easter Monday at 6.30pm for a group photo to show support for raising awareness about autism.

Visit www.autism.org.uk and www.nansa.org.uk for more charity details.


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