The man with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and his mother were forced to take a trip to Europe after they were denied a visa to attend the funeral of a loved one in Britain.
“I don’t want to go,” said the man, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, “I can’t stay here.”
The man, whose father was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, said he has difficulty communicating with people and doesn’t like to socialise.
He was travelling from Manchester to London to attend a memorial service for a loved-one who died in 2010.
He said he was shocked by his experience when he arrived at the airport in London and was told his passport was being held by the Home Office.
“We’re not even allowed to use the airport,” he said.
They don’t even let us go in the airport. “
My passport is on the plane but I don’t know how it got there.
They don’t even let us go in the airport.
They told us we can only go to the airport when we have our passport and I don, I can’t get my passport out of the bag.
I feel humiliated.”
The family was denied entry to the funeral and had to leave in a taxi in the middle of the night.
“The police officers were saying ‘this is an emergency’ and I was like ‘you don’t need to worry about that.
This is a regular thing’,” the man said.
The man said he had also suffered discrimination at the police station in Manchester where he worked.
“There was a police officer who told me they wouldn’t take me because I’m black,” he explained.
“That’s when I started crying.
I said ‘why are you saying this to me?'”
He said the family was told the funeral would be held in the capital city of Manchester and they could leave with their passports, but the officer in charge told them the ceremony would be in London.
“He said that’s not the place to go to a funeral.
The ceremony would not be held there.
He had said the funeral wouldn’t be held at the city’s main airport.
He told us it would be a regular event and that we can go back to the capital.”
The couple said they were then denied entry at the border.
“When we got back to Manchester, we were told we would have to leave at 7am,” he added.
“This is what the immigration officers told us.
They said that we were going to have to get into a car and drive to the border.”
“The border is there.
It’s very, very dangerous.
They just said it was not allowed,” he told The Independent.
“It’s just a nightmare.
You don’t have the right to go anywhere.”
The Manics’ father, who had been a GP, said they could not afford the cost of the trip and had had to take the bus to the UK.
“If I’m going to spend the night at a hotel, I don.
If I’m staying at home, I’m not,” he recalled.
“So I’m getting paid to stay at home.”
He said his family would be “very happy” to return to their home in Britain and that they had been offered a job in Manchester.
He added: “I hope this will help other families.
We have a long way to go.”
In the UK, Aspergers Syndrome is recognised as a disability and it is not recognised as having a diagnosis.
According to the National Autistic Society, only around 1 in 3 people diagnosed with ASD are in work.
The National Autistics Society (NASS), a non-profit organisation which campaigns for better support for people with ASD, said there is still a lot of stigma around Aspergic Spectrum Disorder and that there is “very little understanding about the condition”.
It said the UK’s immigration system is a “poor model” for a country which “has the highest number of people diagnosed as being diagnosed with ASDs in the world”.
The NASS said the British system was not working and people who were diagnosed with a disability should be allowed to access services if they need them.
The charity said it would “take action” to tackle “misconceptions about the disability spectrum”.
“It is unacceptable that we are unable to access the benefits that people with ASDS and their families deserve,” it said in a statement.
“Our work on behalf of those with disabilities needs to continue to support those who are most vulnerable.”
The charity added: The UK has the highest proportion of people with Aspies (around 20 per cent) in the UK and it takes many years to build up an understanding of the disorder.
This will enable them to access”
However, the UK Government is now working towards introducing a new system to better support people who are diagnosed with the condition.
This will enable them to access