Autistic South Shields six year old inspiring those around him with fundraising for local support group after undergoing surgery

An autistic South Tyneside six-year-old has been inspiring families by raising money for a special needs education group after undergoing surgery.

Rex Young, six, from South Shields, was diagnosed with autism aged just three years old.

Last month (June), the youngster underwent surgery to shorten his achilles in order to stop tiptoeing, a common autism trait.

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As a result of the operation, both of Rex’s legs are in casts, giving him the idea of raising money for special needs education group, Waves, by having people make a donation in return for drawing a heart on his cast.

Rex Young, 6

The Waves support group has helped Rex come out of his shell, make new friends and get involved in a number of fun activities, such as beach walks, trampolining and camping.

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Rex’s Dad, Kevin Young, 39, said: “Since attending Waves, Rex has really come out of his shell, made friends and become more communicative through the people there and the activities they do. They’ve done some absolutely amazing things for Rex and he’s responded really well to it.

“Groups like Waves are really, really important. The group has really helped Rex and being able to interact with kids of a similar ability to him has been massive for him.”

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Rex Young, 6, and members of the Waves support group

Rex, who attends Fellgate Autistic Unit, goes to Waves once a week every Saturday and has managed to raise £107 so far.

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Rex enjoys school and does very well in education, being an avid reader.

The fundraising has made Rex’s family incredibly proud, Rex’s Dad Kevin added: “I’m extremely proud of Rex for wanting to do the fundraising and the group has been really supportive no matter the situation, it’s more than just a place you go on a Saturday, it's a real community.”

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Waves Support Group is run by 15 parents who all have children with additional needs.

The group meets every Saturday at Bilton Hall, in Jarrow, and which last year saw the opening of a £6,500 sensory room.

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The group is open to all ages and provides a safe space where people with disabilities can meet, socialise and take part in a number of activities including cookery, arts and crafts, hair and beauty and day trips.