A 13-year-old Warrington boy has won a top award for children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities.
Marcus Wilton has won the coveted Young person/Youth Achievement Award in this year’s nasen awards (National Association for Special Educational Needs).
The youngster, who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and pathological demand avoidance (PDA), has been recognised for his inspirational work.
Putting his anxiety, limited self-confidence and struggles with crowds and open spaces to one side he has travelled the country speaking at schools, presented in front of over 900 people at national conferences, has starred in a BBC documentary called “Positive ADHD” and mentored young people struggling with being different.
Drawing on personal experiences of exclusion from school and being told he would never amount to anything, Marcus is determined to inspire young people and professionals with his positive message of “‘It’s ok to be different, find your talent, your superpower and run with it”.
He spreads the word that being neurodiverse is a gift and something others should never be negative about.
Marcus said: “Being chosen as the winner of the nasen Young Person/Youth Achievement Award means the world to me because it shows that the positive message I am trying to deliver to other young people who, like me, have brains that are wired differently, is getting out there. My mission is always to raise awareness around neurodiverse conditions like ADHD and Autism. If it helps just one young person to accept their differences in a positive way, find their superpower and run with it, then it is all worthwhile. It makes me very proud and happy – thank you nasen for this Award.”
Professor Adam Boddison, chief executive of nasen, said: “We are delighted that Marcus Wilton has been awarded the Young Person/Youth Achievement Award and want to recognise his incredible and inspirational achievements. We want to share our thanks to Marcus for sharing his knowledge and experiences with his peers. We are proud to spotlight his work that benefits so many young people and professionals as well as the wider education and SEND sectors.”
Jean Fitzpatrick, Marcus’ Grandma, said: “Marcus makes me proud everyday. I have watched him grow so much as his mission to help others understand their differences in a positive way has gone from strength to strength. He never fails to amaze me with his positive outlook on life and his determination to get the message out there that kids who are neurodiverse are not ‘mad, sad or bad’, just misunderstood. I am so delighted that he has been recognised at this year’s nasen awards.”
Diana Dewing, managing director at Thrive – who sponsored the Young person/Youth Achievement Award – said: “Marcus is an inspirational young man who has dedicated himself to helping others. He has achieved an incredible amount at a very young age and is a very worthy winner of this important award.”
Further information is available from www.nasen.org.uk/nasen-awards2020