Students diagnosed with autism-spectrum disorder have shared their experiences of living with the condition at Rochdale’s regional autism conference.

Students from Hopwood Hall College gave a talk to parents, carers and educational professionals about their day-to-day lives and how ASD affects them.

One 18-year-old level two art and design student, Blaine Bennett, showed delegates some artwork he had created that has been inspired by his experiences, while a play written by the students about sensory overload and the Q&A session that followed helped guests understand their experiences further.

“The students were absolutely fantastic. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” said Julie Dalton, the autism lead at Rochdale council’s additional needs service. “It was brilliant for parents to see such positivity and that there can be light at the end of what must be a dark tunnel at times.”

The conference also featured keynote speakers including Ros Blackburn, a 48-year-old who lectures internationally on her experience of living with severe autism, and Rita Jordan, an emeritus professor in autism studies at the University of Birmingham.

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