An Aberdeen MSP has spoken out about the effect of the Covid-19 lockdown on people with autism.
Mark McDonald, the MSP for Aberdeen Donside, marked World Autism Awareness Day by lodging a parliamentary motion calling for Holyrood to recognise the challenges faced by people with the condition.
And he has called on ministers to take the rights of people with autism into account when formulating responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Mr McDonald’s son has autism and he has previously spoken out about his family’s experiences.
He said: “Today is World Autism Awareness Day. In the past I have used this day to speak about my son, who has autism, and our experiences as he grows up.
“This year is different, though, we are facing a crisis which has not been seen before, and our daily lives have been radically impacted in ways which many are struggling to adapt to.
“Imagine, therefore, the impact this is having on those whose perception of the world may differ from ours.
“Whose routines and interactions may have stopped suddenly, often without warning, and who may have been thrown significantly by this.
“No two individuals with autism are the same, and so it is not as easy as to assume they are affected similarly by these circumstances.
“However, as the motion I have laid before parliament makes clear, the UN Secretary-General has stated that the rights of those with autism need to be considered in all responses to the COVID-19 virus, and it is to be hoped that those tasked with making decisions are bearing this in mind.”