Getting to know Gerraint
The National Autism Team is committed to working co-productively with autistic individuals, parents/ carers and professionals across Wales. Gerraint is just one of many examples of somebody we have met and worked with and who provides an excellent role model for young autistic adults. Gerraint and his family’s experience provides a positive example of statutory and third sector services combining effectively to improve the wellbeing of a young autistic child and enabling him to reach his full potential when transitioning into adulthood.
Gerraint went from being non-verbal as a young child, to now presenting at national conferences across Wales and securing employment as the Lead Ambassador for the Engage to Change employment support programme, which is delivered in partnership between Learning Disability Wales, Agoriad Cyf, All Wales People First, Cardiff University, ELITE Supported Employment and in collaboration with DFN Project SEARCH. The project is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund in partnership with Welsh Government.
Why was the film created?
The film was created after Gerraint Jones Griffiths completed a work placement with the National Autism Team in Winter 2019. During his placement, Gerraint presented at a training day that the Team were facilitating, and the feedback received was that Gerraint’s story was so inspiring and informative it should be shared more widely.
The National Autism Team will continue to produce digital stories such as this one to celebrate the achievements of autistic individuals across Wales in the future.
PLEASE NOTE this was filmed many weeks ago and the National Autism Team are strictly adhering to recent government guidance and measures in relation to social distancing.
Gerraint Jones Griffiths, Lead Ambassador for Engage to Change said:
“Once you have the diagnosis, you’ll be the same person before and after. I truly believe that being autistic is a gift and it’s something you should accept and be proud of. As far as I’m concerned, A is not for autism, A is for achievement!”
Samantha Williams, Engage to Change Communications Officer, Learning Disability Wales said:
“Gerraint has been outstanding in his role as Lead Ambassador for the Engage to Change project. His presentations at events are always so engaging and entertaining – he’s a real showman! He works hard to spread the word that, with the right support, people with a learning disability, or autism can and do have paid jobs.”
Joe Powell, Chief Executive for All Wales People First said:
“Gerraint is a real inspiration to people on the autism spectrum and a true ambassador for what can be achieved with the right understanding and support. We feel privileged to know him and I commend him and the National Autism Team for producing this wonderful film."