Autistic schoolboy wins top award

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AN autistic child who was never expected to talk has won a national art competition with a self-narrated video.

Oliver Coatsworth won The People’s Choice Award in the Create Art for Autism 2012 contest with his video The Owl Babies.

The 11-year-old was named the award winner during a ceremony in Cardiff this month.

Oliver’s mum Philippa, from Durham City, said her son was “very proud” of the achievement.

“He heard his name and he was up there on stage,” she said.

“He was saying: ‘I’m a winner’.

“We’re absolutely elated.

“It’s a mixed emotion of crying through absolute delight.

“I can’t stop smiling.”

Oliver’s entry won 505 of the 1,040 votes cast in The People’s Choice category.

The video can be viewed at evergreen.durham.sch.uk.