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Department of Health

Think autism: updating the 2010 adult autism strategy


“Right support at the right time”

7. “I want a timely diagnosis from a trained professional. I want relevant information and support throughout the diagnostic process.”

In 2013, the majority of people newly diagnosed with autism were children. The DfE and DH have worked closely over a number of years to encourage early identification of potential autism and to link this with relevant support in schools. However, there is a very significant group of adults, including …

8. “I want autism to be included in local strategic needs assessments so that person centred local health, care and support services, based on good information about local needs, is available for people with autism.”

In order to plan and commission services effectively, local authorities and their Health and Wellbeing Boards, CCGs and other partners, need to have access to as comprehensive data on local numbers and needs as is possible. But gathering data on the numbers and needs of people with autism at a …

9. “I want staff in health and social care services to understand that I have autism and how this affects me.”

It is important that health and care professionals have a good understanding of autism. Where professionals do understand autism, the positive impact on the lives of adults with autism can be immense. Health and social care professionals must be able to communicate effectively with people with autism if they are to be …

10. “I want to know that my family can get help and support when they need it.”

We know that caring for someone with autism can be extremely rewarding but can also be hugely challenging, both emotionally and financially, and we are determined to improve the support available to carers. The Care Bill will simplify the assessment processes for adult carers so that more of them are …

11. “I want services and commissioners to understand how my autism affects me differently through my life. I want to be supported through big life changes such as transition from school, getting older or when a person close to me dies.”

Think Young Adults The needs of adults with autism may have been significantly influenced by their experiences within education and children’s services. It is thought that early intervention, and interventions throughout childhood can have a significant bearing on the individual skills and abilities of adults with autism. Transition from school …

12. “I want people to recognise my autism and adapt the support they give me if I have additional needs such as a mental health problem, a learning disability or if I sometimes communicate through behaviours which others may find challenging.”

Some people with autism will have additional, more complex needs. Mental health problems are more common among people with autism and it is estimated that around half of people with autism also have a learning disability. However, poor mental health is not an inevitable consequence of having autism and when …

13. “If I break the law, I want the criminal justice system to think about autism and to know how to work well with other services.”

People with autism need access to support whether they are a victim, or witness, as set out earlier in priority challenge five, or are suspected of committing a crime. Criminal justice agencies (in particular the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, probation and courts) should ensure that they have access to expertise …