The Scarborough teenager, 15, raising awareness of autism through his love of finger knitting

A Scarborough teenager whose dream is to become a “world fundraiser” for the National Autistic Society has launched his first campaign.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 9:32 am
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 9:54 am
Joe Brown is finger knitting bracelets for the National Autistic Society.

Joe Brown, 15, has autism and anxiety. Despite his condition, which causes him some behavioural issues, Joe is determined to show the world that people with autism are just like anybody else, and to do so he has decided to put his hobby to good use.

He said: “I like finger knitting so my mum gave me some wool that I had when I lived with her and I made 300 bracelets. They’re 50p each.

“My hands are a bit painful from doing the finger knitting but it’s all for a good cause and it’s a good coping strategy. I’ve been doing it most days now and I haven’t been bored.”

Joe with some of his finger knitted bracelets.

Although Joe’s mum always suspected he had autism, for years doctors failed to spot the symptoms and his diagnosis only came in January. Until then, Joe had been in mainstream education where he struggled to make friends and where his difficulties in getting the results saw him being expelled.

After moving around different institutions across the county, Joe was finally given a place at Mowbray special needs school at Bedale where things, he says, are much better.

“Now that I’ve got the diagnosis I can get more support with different agencies like social services. They can have more money so they can get me a virtual school teacher and we can do one to ones which really helps.”

And after past struggles finding suitable accommodation, Joe has now settled in Stepney Road children’s home.

His key worker Jason Fenwick said: “Since Joe arrived a few weeks ago, he’s been an absolute pleasure. He took up his finger knitting and built his own empire giving everyone individual roles, from PAs to head of security, and all the staff including the young people have really taken to him.”

By selling his bracelets Joe is hoping to raise money and awareness and encourage people to “listen more” to children with autism.