A FATHER of two from Solihull is taking on the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run to raise money and awareness for the National Autism Society after both his children were diagnosed with the condition.
29-year-old David McGuire, a former Royal Navy engineer who currently works as a maintenance engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, is running the 13.1 mile tour of the city on Sunday, October 18.
David is running following the diagnosis of both his children – four-year-old Megan and ten-year-old Olly.
Aiming to raise awareness of autism, and in particular pathological demand avoidance (PDA), David said how PDA can often cause extreme anxiety, and is a lifelong condition.
David added: “Both of our children were diagnosed earlier this year following suspicions raised with our daughter, who has suffered from severe expressive speech delay.
“This, coupled with other concerns, led us to query whether she was indeed, on the autistic spectrum.
“However, with little support from the NHS, we had no option but to seek a private diagnosis.
“When asked questions about our daughter regarding her potential diagnosis, alarm bells were also raised with our son, which led to us seeking his diagnosis as well.”
David continued admitting, at times, criticisms have been made of their parenting – despite little understanding from health authorities of autism.
David added: “As parents we still feel on our own, despite both children being diagnosed and feel that with more awareness of the condition, parents like us can share experiences and tips for dealing with the condition.”
As well as the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run, David has also signed up for the Morrisons Great North Run and has entered the ballot to take part in the 2016 London Marathon.
Through all of his efforts David is aiming to raise a minimum of £500 for the National Autism Society.
To support David’s story and to donate, visit www.justgiving.com/David-McGuire9