Wigan mum inspired to run autism awareness sessions after son's diagnosis

A Wigan mum has launched a challenge to support autism awareness, inspired by her son who was diagnosed earlier this year.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 2:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 3:02 pm

Cordelia Singh, from Orrell, has been running online fitness challenges, which participants have donated cash to take part in, in a bid to make more people aware of the condition and how it affects those who are diagnosed with it.

Cordelia was inspired to raise more awareness after her three-year-old son Beaudon was diagnosed with autism in January.

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Cordelia Singh and husband Amerjit, from Orrell, with son Beaudon, three, who was diagnosed with autism in January

She said: “The response to the challenge has been so amazing, we’ve raised quite a lot of money as well as the awareness.

“My background, apart from doing ‘normal jobs’, has been teaching fitness classes on a part-time basis, so I have a following of people who’ve done them over the years. I needed a way of creating the awareness for autism, in an arena that was going to catch attention.”

Cordelia set up an online group called ABUK (Autism, Beaudon, Understanding, Kindness) and organised a series of seven sponsored fitness classes, one for each day of World Autism Awareness Week, and to Cordelia’s amazement, more than 100 people signed up in quick succession!

The classes were inspired by the National Autistic Society’s Super 7 campaign, in which people are asked to take on a 7-themed challenge over the course of the week to raise money for the charity. Examples have included a 7k sponsored walk, a seven-hour gaming marathon and even cooking seven dishes to raise money and awareness.

Cordelia with son Beaudon, three, who was diagnosed with autism in January

Cordelia hopes that the campaign will help more people learn about autism and dispel some of the misconceptions about life on the spectrum.

“From a parent’s point of view, I’m learning about the condition. It’s such a vast spectrum. The understanding and the kindness is something I feel so strongly about that it’s part of the brand (ABUK),” she said.

“People living with autism face that many challenges. This is about making the world understand what they go through. When I take my little boy to the park, I would just love for people to understand his challenges and his difficulties.

“I’d love to be in a position where I can go out to primary schools and talk to children, and give them some sort of understanding. This is a really difficult thing for them to live with.”

Cordelia added: “It’s not what you think it is, sometimes. There’s a lot more to [autism] than most people think.”

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