Autistic Empathy App
2103. Sonia Owen
Sonia Owen, from Conwy, runs the ‘Autistic Empathy’ app, a friendship platform for over 500 autistic adults across the UK.
The app was developed in partnership with charity ‘Action for Asperger’s’, which Sonia is also Vice-Chair of, and alongside helping people with autism and Asperger’s connect with one another, can also direct them to counselling services.
The app is designed for those aged 17 and above who identify as having Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, is managed by qualified autism-specialist counsellors and provides a helpline for users.
Drawing on her own lived experience of Asperger’s Syndrome, as well as supporting others with autism, gives Sonia the insight and understanding to moderate the app and ensure the safety of users.
In a personal letter to Sonia, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“Through the ‘Autistic Empathy’ app you are supporting hundreds of people with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome across the UK to connect with one another.
“From your own experience of living with Asperger’s, you know how socially isolating it can be and how daunting it can be to share this with other people. So it is fantastic that your app is helping people to forge new friendships and access counselling services where needed.”
Congratulating Sonia on her award, David Jones, Sonia’s local MP for Clwyd West, said:
“I am delighted to see that Sonia has won the Points of Light Award. She has turned her own life experiences to the advantage of others and is now an important and highly valued member of the ‘Action for Asperger’s’ team. The ‘Autism Empathy’ app is a hugely valuable tool for people with autism.
“She is an inspirational young woman and a deserving recipient of the award.”
“Things like this don’t happen to me! My own journey with Asperger’s syndrome has been challenging, often never feeling ‘good enough’. This nomination is huge. It has made me feel very honoured and proud. My work on the ‘Autistic Empathy’ app has become so important to me. It feels good to give autistic people like me a safe space to meet and to make meaningful connections. I love working on it.”
See more about the ‘Autistic Empathy’ app