You may have friends or family with autism, or know someone affected.

More than 530,000 people in the UK are recognised as having an autistic spectrum disorder and more than 90,000 of these are children.

The autistic population in the National Autistic Society London and south east region is 163,096 with Kent having the highest number of any county, 12,312!

Autism is a life-long disorder and has a dramatic impact on the life of the whole family.

Some fathers find the news that their child has a diagnosis of autism particularly difficult to accept. Often the system' marginalizes the father, albeit quite unintentionally.

Although much still needs to be done, there is a wide range of help and support available for parents and children but little, if any, that recognises directly the situation of the father.

The Fathers' Club was formed four years ago to offer support and guidance to the fathers, and grandfathers, of children with autism.

The facilitator is Kent is retired businessman John Franklin and monthly evening meetings are held in Dartford.

Attendance is free and members are kept in touch through a regular newsletter.

If you would like further information contact John through Kent Autistic Trust on 01634 405168 or the Parents Consortium on 01322 668501.