WHEN Marc Fleisher was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at the age of 11, his parents were told that their son "would never amount to anything".

Yet Marc made something of his life though a love of mathematics and astronomy, and he now holds both Masters and Bachelors degrees in maths.

The author of two books – Making Sense of the Unfeasible and Survival Strategies for People on the Autism Spectrum – Marc will be a guest speaker later this month at the annual meeting of the Swindon and District branch of the National Autistic Society.

Marc, whose other passions are tennis and salsa dancing, said he was passionate about raising awareness of the abilities and potential of people on the autistic spectrum, as well as highlighting the challenges and difficulties of living with autism.

He said: “With the right support, autistic people can do anything they really want to do – but having the right autism-specific support is crucial.”

The NAS event takes place at Blunsdon House Hotel on Tuesday, May 31, at 7.15pm for 7.30pm.

The other speaker will be Dave King, editor of the Swindon Advertiser, who will give an update on the Wiltshire autism alert card, which was launched in the county last month in conjunction with Wiltshire Police.

He said: “We’ve got off to a great start with the card thanks to the support of Wiltshire Police. We have had loads of enquiries about the card, and so far we have distributed more than 50 cards to those with autism and their families, but this is only the start.

“I am keen to push the card across Wiltshire so that anyone with an autism diagnosis has this safety net should they come into contact with the police, whether as a perpetrator of crime, a witness, or even a victim.

“The card is free, but its benefits are numerous and I would urge people to get in touch and apply for the card. I am currently talking to Wiltshire Fire and Rescue about them joining the scheme, which would be fantastic.

“They are very interested in how this card would help them in their work. And later today I am in Southampton to help launch an autism alert card and sticker with the South Central Ambulance Service, and so there is huge potential to expand even further.”

For more details about the autism alert card, log onto: www.autismalertwilts.com The NAS meeting at the Blunsdon House Hotel is open to anyone with an interest in autism – you do not need to be a member of the National Autistic Society.

For more details contact branch chairman Sally Grubb at SalGrubb@aol.com