A STEVENSTON family are hoping to raise as much awareness and money as possible to highlight autism to a wider audience.

Nicole Fox and her husband Michael have two kids, Ayla, three, and Aiden, one, and both kids have autism.

Neither of the youngsters can speak and Nicole explained how hard this can be, she said: “People don’t really understand what I mean by the term ‘non-verbal’ and I tell them they can’ t speak.

“We don’t know if they ever will, sometimes we get down and we grieve, grieve for the idea of the life our kids have had or at the fact they may never be able to say ‘I love you’ back. “But then other days, I’m so grateful for the way they are and the innocence they will always surely have.”

The family are holding a fun day at Ardeer Community Centre on Saturday, April 7, and they hope to bring autism and their struggles to as many people as possible but have fun at the same time.

Nicole added: “I want to spread awareness that what we think might be strange and not, as they say, normal for one person is actually normal for another. “We are all different and people with autism have a really wonderful mind.

“I may be biased but there’s no brighter, more genuine smile than an autism smile.”

On the day, which starts at 12pm on April 7, there will be bouncy castles, stalls, sweets, baking, bar games, a sensory room and a slime workshop demonstration. Games will range from 50p to £1. There will be a lot of raffle prizes including M&Ds tickets, football tickets, signed ball, signed pendants and other top prizes. There will also be a bottle stall.