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"Our aim was to get Ryan and other autistic people out of hospitals and into the community."

Sharon Clarke
- on advocating for her son Ryan

"My aim was to get Ryan and other autistic people out of hospitals and into the community. Hospitals are too cold and clinical – you've got a set time for everything."

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I would love people to understand that autistic people are just people who think differently. I just can’t understand why there isn’t more information about autism, learning disabilities, and mental health conditions in the media. It needs to be publicised more.

"I would love people to understand that autistic people are just people who think differently."

Ryan is hoping to move out in September or October this year. He’ll be a part of the community, with some restrictions on where he can go or what he can do to keep him safe, under a DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard). Activities will be planned for him – family visits, country walks etc.

He may even be given a dog (trained specifically for autistic people). His garden leads out into the countryside, so it’s excellent for dog walking! Ryan loves animals and he loves the country. As soon as I saw the house, I thought, ‘Ryan, definitely!’. It’s been an uphill battle but we’ve got there in the end!

Our latest data on mental health hospitals

Read our news story on the number of autistic people still in mental health hospitals, and how we’re working to change this through our Autism Inpatient Mental Health Casework Service.

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