A WELL-KNOWN advocate for autism is coming to the Tyne Valley to deliver a six-week course aimed at changing perceptions of the condition.

The Inside of Autism course began on Wednesday, and was delivered at the Funstation in Prudhoe by Kieran Rose, from Consett.

Kieran was diagnosed with autism at the age of 23, and runs a blog called the Autistic Advocate that is read by more than one million people.

The blog focuses on autism as an identity and an ‘acceptable neurology’, but at the same time addresses the aspects that can be disabling.

Kieran is a writer and consultant, with a background in primary education and SEN. He is also a father to two autistic children.

Since his diagnosis, he has been trying to change the narrative of autism, by highlighting the harm caused to people with autism all over the world.

The six-week course will cover the history of autism, sensory differences, meltdowns and more.

Kieran has been supported in the delivery of the workshop by the Prudhoe-based charity Happy Faces.

The charity’s chairwoman, Nicola King, explained why the charity had chosen to bring Kieran to Prudhoe.

She said: “My husband is autistic, so having people on a team with a diagnosis is really important to me.

“Kieran is an international speaker and was diagnosed autistic as an adult and now runs advocacy services.

“He’s going to deliver a six-week course open to everyone.

“He wants people to think differently and we at Happy Faces want people to think that too. Suicide rates among autistic people are particularly high.”

The course had its first session on Wednesday from 5pm.

Happy Faces is also providing support for children so parents are able to attend the course without the need for extra childcare.

Amanda added that Kieran has been keen to teach the course in Prudhoe for some time.

She added: “We have mutual friends, so he’s wanted to deliver the course for the best part of a year. It’s been very good for him too.”

Kieran will also be returning for a seventh week to help people who attended the course reflect on what they had learned.