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Department of Health

Think autism: updating the 2010 adult autism strategy


“I want to have an equal part in my local community”

1. “I want to be accepted as who I am within my local community. I want people and organisations in my community to have opportunities to raise their awareness and acceptance of autism”

Many local services provide support for people with autism which is vital for helping them to be part of their local communities. But whilst we need to continue to strengthen statutory services, we also need to look beyond this important work, to spread autism awareness to a wider range of …

2. “I want my views and aspirations to be taken into account when decisions are made in my local area. I want to know whether my local area is doing as well as others.”

The 2010 Autism Strategy and statutory guidance set out that every local area is expected to have an Autism Partnership Board (APB) in place or a similar mechanism to ensure that all relevant stakeholders, including people with autism and their families and senior commissioners, of health and care services help …

3. “I want to know how to connect with other people. I want to be able to find local autism peer groups, family groups and low level support.”

Many adults with autism find it difficult to make friends. User-led and voluntary support groups help adults with autism build relationships with peers, friends, partners and colleagues and support independent living and being part of the community. It is important that all people with autism, whatever their level of need, …

4. “I want the everyday services that I come into contact with to know how to make reasonable adjustments to include me and accept me as I am. I want the staff who work in them to be aware and accepting of autism.”

For many people with autism, mainstream public services can be hard to access.  Some of this is due to a lack of understanding of autism among staff but this is not the only factor. Many people with autism are hypersensitive to light and noise; they can have significant difficulties with …

5. “I want to be safe in my community and free from the risk of discrimination, hate crime and abuse.”

Code of Practice for Victims The Government brought into force a new Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in December 2013, which sets out the information and support provided to victims of crime by criminal justice agencies in England and Wales. The new Code provides an enhanced level of service to victims of …

6. “I want to be seen as me and for my gender, sexual orientation and race to be taken into account.”

Feedback from focus groups during the Review of the Autism Strategy suggested that a wide range of professionals and individuals encountered by people on the autistic spectrum do not look beyond the individual’s autism. People have many stereotypes and preconceptions about what someone with autism is like: “male”, “white”, “good …