Alexandra’s essay about living with autism wins top award

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A teenager’s moving essay about her relationship with her autistic brother has won a national competition.

Alexandra Parker, an S6 pupil at Larbert High School, had been asked to write either a personal or creative piece for her intermediate 2 English folio.

And she immediately knew that she wanted to talk about her 15-year-old brother Ross.

Alexandra (17) said: “I wanted to write a personal essay, and the relationship I have with my brother is really strong so that’s what I wanted to write about.

“The essay was really about my relationship with him and that there were good points and how there could also be tough times too.”

The essay moved Alexandra’s English teacher to tears, and, when Alexandra’s father read it, he sent the piece on to the National Autistic Society.

The family not only became ambassadors for the Scottish arm of the charity, but Alexandra’s essay was entered into the society’s sibling essay competition.

Now one of four winners, Alexandra, who has won a Kindle, has been invited to meet the society’s staff.

She said: “I’m really happy. We’ll go to Glasgow to the Scottish headquarters of the society and meet Dr Robert Moffat, the national director.”

Dr Moffat said: “I was in the privileged position to read Alexandra’s essay. It is exceptionally moving and well-written.

“There are an estimated 50,000 people with autism in Scotland, with more than 350 thought to live in Falkirk.

“We know that living with someone with autism doesn’t just affect mums and dads.

“That’s why NAS Scotland launched our sibling essay competition to celebrate brothers and sisters and the huge, positive difference their love and support can make to 
the lives of 
people with autism.”

Alexandra, who is studying maths, English, music and modern studies, intends to go on a gap year after finishing school.