Yesterday morning (3 October), our head of campaigns, Tom Purser, appeared on ITV’s This Morning alongside their guest, Danielle Lloyd.

Since the broadcast, there has been a lot of commentary on social and mainstream media, so we wanted to give you our perspective on the programme.

This Morning

We know from what you tell us that, above all else, you value our work to change perceptions of autism. That’s why, in nearly every case, we respond positively to invitations from TV companies to get involved with interviews like this one. They give the charity an opportunity to reach millions of members of the public who wouldn’t otherwise hear our messages about the need to create a world that really works for autistic people.

Some of the commentary about the programme has been around the language Danielle Lloyd used about her son and his needs. We understand that some of her language was not the same as many of you – or this charity – would use. However, autistic people and their families are often subject to unfair judgement. It is our strong belief that we should support children, adults and families as they go through a diagnosis, and avoid being judgemental. We need to remember that this is one person's experience, and that the period before a diagnosis can be one where people are seeking explanations and answers and where they may not always use the 'correct' language. Like many people commenting on our Facebook page, we believe Danielle Lloyd has a genuine concern for her son and wants to share her story about the difficulty of getting a diagnosis.

Others of you commented that the programme didn’t discuss unacceptably long diagnosis waiting times. Tom had hoped to raise this, but the way the interview ran meant he didn’t have a chance to. As many of you know, we have an ongoing campaign about this, Autism Diagnosis Crisis, and we’re pleased to have chalked up a recent success that should improve the situation, from April 2018, diagnosis waiting times will be monitored in England, which means those areas that are lagging behind can be held to account.

There’s a long way to go, both in terms of public understanding and getting comprehensive diagnostic and support services in place for autistic people and their families. But, with your support, we are managing to make a difference.