The advocates are neurodiverse children and young people based in North-East Essex who give their views on health, education and social issues which affect their daily lives of autistic children and young people. They meet once a month, for often vibrant and straight-talking discussions to help make products and services better for all. 


Autsome Advocates was made possible by generous funding from North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as ​​Autism Anglia North-East Essex Advocacy Service felt it was important to have stakeholder views and influence. 


Mason has autism and Crohn’s disease and is not only our new Autsome Advocate lead, he is also an ambassador for the Multi School council where he pioneers disability in sport. Mason has had quite the journey to get to this point. 

Mason started in a mainstream school where he was picked on and no one really understood his autism. Despite some efforts from the school, Mason was not getting the support he needed. He reported bullying multiple times and whilst the teachers told the culprit off, the teachers reminded him of ‘the boy who cried wolf’. He says that his parents would ask if he had a good day, and his response would always be no. Mason eventually got an EHCP and started at Market Field School in Essex where he started to shine.  

Mason is a keen footballer and during school was an excellent athlete. He felt as if some of the other children looked up to him and proved that you can play sports to a high level whilst being neurodiverse. This boosted Mason’s confidence and helped him thrive during his time at Market Field School as they treated him like an individual. 

After school Mason found work at Direct Meats where he found that there was little knowledge about autism with staff. Mason began to explain to everyone about autism and what it really is from someone who is autistic themselves, and because of that Mason can happily report that the workplace is now much more inclusive and knowledgeable about autism. 

Mason has, much like the rest of the world, had to adjust to a modern way of delivering talks and advocating for autism and Crohn’s. The rise in popularity of virtual meetings via mediums like Zoom have been very positive, says Mason. These developments make everything very accessible and inclusive for Mason and he is now promoting this message onto others – it’s okay to do things virtually if you might struggle in person! You can still make an impact.  

With the idea of Autsome Advocates being to provide a voice for young people, Mason is positive about the future. Working closely alongside Annie Sands, manager of Autism Anglia’s North-East Essex Advocacy Service, Mason expresses his desire to expand the advocates and ensure that they make the most positive impact possible.  

Mason says he thinks he can really help a lot of young people as he’s a little bit older and been through it. We always see so much talent from people drawing, to designing t-shirts and even doing bigger things like his podcast and interviewing famous people like Temple Grandin.  

The Autsome Advocates are something to proud of, providing role models for young, neurodiverse people. We’re pleased to have you on board, Mason!