Families enjoy exclusive day at Heacham attraction

Verity Wright, Vic Barnett, Robin Barnett, Bailey Davies. MLNF15EV03602 ANL-150324-174832001

Verity Wright, Vic Barnett, Robin Barnett, Bailey Davies. MLNF15EV03602 ANL-150324-174832001

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Thirty families with one or more children living with autism had an exclusive session at Heacham’s Farmer Fred’s on Friday.

The 90-minute activity session was held ahead of World Autism Awareness week.

It was subsidised by father of autistic twins Paul Barnett who said: “Not everyone understands the challenges families with autistic children face; we often get stared and pointed at because of the children’s behaviour, so having a session like this allows families to relax.

“Autism is really a hidden disability; children look just the same as those who don’t have this disability,” he added.

The West Norfolk Branch of the National Autistic Society, with members from an area including Lynn, Downham and Hunstanton, organises an activity each month and the group has had gym sessions, swimming and visits to Farmer Fred’s. Member Debbie Bibb said: “We don’t normally do social events as a family, but here everyone understands and we are with other families facing the same problems, such as lack of sleep and having to be constantly aware of our children’s anxieties.

“So we are immensely grateful for the opportunity to come here where the staff are great; they understand and don’t judge.”

World Autism Awareness week begins today and Vic Barnett said: “Our group really wants to raise awareness of autism.

“If there is anyone out there who has a family member with autism and who is in need of help and support do get in touch on www.westnorfolknas.org.uk