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ACTRESS Jane Asher and TV presenter Gaby Roslin are urging young artists with autism to enter a prestigious national competition.

Create! Art for Autism 2012 is open to all young people aged 11-25 years who are formally diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition including Asperger’s Syndrome.

The competition aims to dispel the myth that people with autism cannot be creative and to show that art can significantly improve their quality of life.

Jane Asher, president of the National Autistic Society, said: “I’m delighted to be part of Create! 2012: I’ve seen so much beautiful and inspiring art made by young people with autism over the years, and I can’t wait to see the entries.

“The wealth of talent and imagination of those in the autistic community has long been overlooked and I’m sure that this important competition, now in its second year, will help to bring it the appreciation and recognition it deserves.”

There are four main categories – 2D Art, 3D Art, Digital Art and Poetry – and there will also be a People’s Choice award, the winner of which will be voted for by the readers of the Times Educational Supplement.

Finalists will be announced on June 12 with the awards ceremony taking place in Cardiff on July 6. All finalists’ artwork will then be rolled out into a national art tour across four UK cities – Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham and London.

Closing date May 18. To enter, visit

www.createartforautism.co.uk