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21 April 2023

Autism Awareness Month: Q & A with the Wood Family

As part of Autism Awareness Month, we caught up with Anne-Marie Wood, who kindly spoke to us about her family’s experience of the Autism in Racing days.

The Woods are a family of four living in Whittington, Staffordshire. They have a 9-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son; he was diagnosed with autism when he was three. 

The family saw an interview on ITV Racing about raceday presenter Bobby Beevers, who himself is an autistic person, and his part in setting up the Autism in Racing programme. They got in contact with us being keen to attend one of our events.

Have you ever been racing before?

Before our son was born, we regularly went to the races but it has been more difficult in recent years.

What did you most enjoy about your day at the races?

It was great to have a designated area where we could relax and get away from the noisy crowds if our son became too overwhelmed.

What are the benefits of having Autism in Racing at an event?

Having access to our own private area, parking close the race track and being able to go into the sensory room all combine to make the experience much more relaxed and manageable. 

Having been to an Autism in Racing event does the family feel more confident in attending another race meeting?

Absolutely. You always get a friendly welcome which puts us immediately at ease. The scheme allows us to attend race meetings as a family and spend quality time together, which is something we wouldn’t do if Autism in Racing wasn’t there. 

How beneficial is the Autism in Racing programme to you and other families?

Autism in Racing promotes inclusion by encouraging families to get out in the community. It’s also an opportunity for families to meet others in a similar situation. 

What was your son’s favourite part of the day?

Our son loved having the freedom to run around outside independently without us having to worry that he would get lost in the crowds. 

Find out more about Autism in Racing here

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