Alex Lowery was the guest speaker
Over 100 delegates gathered in the Stornoway Sea Angling Club today (Wednesday June 21), participating in the first ever Autism Eileanan Siar conference.
The guest speaker was Alex Lowery (23), an award winning blogger who was born in October 1993, and diagnosed with Classic Autism at the age of four.
When he was seven his IQ was 73 and his parents were told not to expect too much.
Despite this Alex has exceeded everyone’s expectations.
He is a public speaker, author, trainer and autism campaigner.
In his short life he has met with MPs, won awards and helped to arrange an ‘Autism into Employment’ conference.
Alex’s motto in life is that you have to keep on moving forward despite whatever difficulties you face.
He’s written a book about his life with autism called Thinking Club: A filmstrip of my life as a person with autism.
During a series of superb informative talks, Alex kept guests at the Stornoway conference enthralled with his easy-going, warm style of speaking.
He said that for someone with autism, it would be 'easier to stand on a horse' than engage in group conversation.
"And don't say to someone who has autism that they can come over to your house 'any time they like'," he laughed.
"We take things very literally, so to us that could mean in the next two minutes."
When he had first heard that junk food could cause heart disease, he was convinced that the next time he ate chips he would have a heart attack.
"I was lifting a bed one time with my grandmother and she told me to be careful in case I got a hernia," said Alex.
"And of course, the next twinge I felt in my side, I was convinced I had a hernia."
Despite facing severe challenges, Alex has worked hard to highlight what issues people with autism face, and he is now employed as a professional speaker, addressing large crowds across the country.
"Each case of autism is different, and I don't like hearing people say they hope that one day a cure for autism is found," he said.
"In my view there shouldn't be a cure for autism, as I find that autism is part of who a person is."
Autism Eileanan Siar are holding the conference event in conjunction with NHS Western Isles and CNES to raise awareness across the islands.
As a group, Autism Eileanan Siar are looking to raise awareness of autism in the Western Isles and champion full and inclusive lives for people with autism.
For more information, see here.
The Sea Angling Club was packed for the conference