The government is seeking views on proposed new statutory guidance to local authorities and NHS organisations, to support the implementation of ‘Think Autism’, the update to the 2010 adult autism strategy.
The consultation looks at issues including staff training, identification and diagnosis of autism in adults and the planning of services, preventative support and safeguarding and employment for adults with autism.
Responses are invited from a wide range of people and groups, including adults with autism, families and carers, health and social care organisations that plan, commission and provide services for adults with autism and their families.
Autism innovation projects
Forty two projects will receive a share of the £1 million Autism Innovation Fund, which was announced in Think Autism. The 6-month projects include:
- helping young people with life after school
- a course to help people with autism to manage their money
- a local ‘autism friends’ programme
- using IT in imaginative ways to help reduce anxiety
- supporting people with autism into work and apprenticeships
The projects, which were chosen from more than 350 applications, are designed to be replicated elsewhere.
Funding for local authorities
A grant of £18.5k capital funding is being made available by the Department of Health to each local authority to make local areas more autism-friendly. This could include improving buildings or buying relevant equipment. Local authorities will need to work with their local autism partners to agree how best to use the grant
Work on autism awareness
The Autism Alliance UK has been selected to raise national awareness of autism and will receive up to £200K of funding over the next few months. It will work with private and public organisations to raise the profile of autism, advise health and care professionals, businesses and community groups and create an autism ‘champions network’ of people to raise awareness among their professional and organisational networks.