News story

Fulfilling and rewarding lives: the strategy for adults with autism in England

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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.