The first autism strategy for England marked a fundamental change in public services helping adults with autism to live independent lives and find work.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability and although some people can live relatively independently, others will have high dependency needs requiring a lifetime of specialist care. There are approximately 400,000 adults with Autistic spectrum disorders in England, around half of whom have a learning disability.
Published in March 2010, Fulfilling and rewarding lives: the strategy for adults with autism in England set a clear framework for all mainstream services across the public sector to work together for adults with autism.
Actions in the autism strategy include:
- a new National Autism Programme Board to lead change in public services set out in the strategy
- a programme to develop training with health and social care professional bodies (backed by a £500,000 investment)
- autism awareness training for all Job Centre Disability Employment Advisers
- guidance on making public services accessible for adults with autism, like improving buildings, public transport and communication
- a clear, consistent pathway for diagnosis.
- Evaluating progress (April 2011)
- Statutory guidance for local authorities and NHS organisations to support implementation of the autism strategy (December 2010)
- Summary and response to the Consultation (October 2010)