A better future for autistic adults

29 Apr

Following on from the National Autistic Society’s I Exist campaign and the massive support for the Autism Bill in Parliament the UK Government, after working closely with an external reference group chaired by NAS chief executive, Mark Lever, has launched a

consultation process for the first government strategy to support adults with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) to live life as full and equal citizens.

The consultation documents can be accessed online at the Department of Health. At present the consultation documents are print only but should be available to complete online before the consultation period ends on September 15th. The consultation only applies to England. The Welsh Assembly Government already has a Strategic Action Plan for Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), published in April 2008. An ASD Strategic Action Plan is being finalised for publication in Northern Ireland and in Scotland the ASD Reference Group has published guidance to local agencies on commissioning services for people with autism. While these separate arrangements may reflect local differences it will be interesting to compare them in order to see how adults are being served across the United Kingdom.

The government has outlined 5 areas of need: social inclusion, health, choice and control, awareness raising and training, and access to training and employment. The NAS has a broader range of concerns on its website which it would like people to consider when completing the government questionnaire.

So, after years of being ignored or ineligible, autistic adults are finally being considered and their views taken into account in formulating statutory guidance for local authorities. So spread the word and mke sure the government hears your views.

8 Responses to “A better future for autistic adults”

  1. david.andrews.ed.psych April 30, 2009 at 01:37 #

    “So, after years of being ignored or ineligible, autistic adults are finally being considered and their views taken into account in formulating statutory guidance for local authorities. So spread the word and mke sure the government hears your views.”

    The day this happens in Finland, I shall die of shock.

  2. kyngdingxx April 30, 2009 at 04:22 #

    “the first government strategy to support adults with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) to live life as full and equal citizens.”
    I strongly doubt this plan can ensure any of such goals.

  3. Clay April 30, 2009 at 05:43 #

    Though the UK is thousands of miles away, I’m encouraged by this happening, because we’ll be able to point to a successful (and moral, and humane), system. I’d love to see it happen here, but am not sure I’ll live that long. Three cheers for England !

  4. me.yahoo.com/a/lMMwP4ovhu7DOExvz1evIpTiIaar4RlSBle96n6XQmOlf0spXQm5.YpL April 30, 2009 at 09:28 #

    .
    .
    Obviously good news, and long overdue…. BUT how long will it take to become an active law? Will be have to wait while endless committees meet and talk and produce reports, etc? Let’s
    see some action soon.

    • Mike Stanton April 30, 2009 at 21:47 #

      The guidance should be out by the end of the year. The government is proposing to introduce statutory guidance and provide additional funding for implementation. This has the power of law but does not need the approval of parliament. Therefore it is possible that a future government could reverse this guidance, again without the approval of parliament. The Autism Bill is different. If it became law its statutes could only be reversed by parliament. And the government guidance will only be binding on local authorities and not on other agencies, eg health, whose decisions also impact on the lives of autistic people.

      This explains why AIM, while welcoming the consultation are continuing to campign for the Autism Bill The NAS also includes questions that are beyond the remit of local authorities that it wants people to raise during the consultation so that they are included in the strategy document evn if they are not immediately enforceable at law. These are support for employment, person centred planning and proposals for health care and training for health professionals.

      My own guess is that the government guidance will represent a real step forward but deliver less than the provisions of the Autism Bill. This will be presented as a victory or a sell-out depending on your point of view.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. blog-thing : Nothing About Us Without Us - May 10, 2009

    […] are happening in the UK as well. Parliamentary support for the Autism Bill led to the government setting up an external reference group chaired by National Autistic Society […]

  2. blog-thing : A better future for autistic adults - July 11, 2009

    […] post first appeared on LBRB April 29, 2009. The government has outlined 5 areas of need: social inclusion, health, choice and control, […]

  3. blog-thing : Autism Bill Progresses in Parliament. - July 13, 2009

    […] is still a lot of work to be done. The government consultation that I wrote about last month is continuing and it is even more important now for people to […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: