The Government has today sent a clear message to local authorities telling them what services we can expect them to provide for adults with autism. All thanks to three years of your campaigning on the Autism Act 2009 and the autism strategy.
But, despite all your hard work, it is not the end. Now we must make sure changes happen locally.
The guidance is clear, local authorities:
1) Should provide autism awareness training for all staff
2) Must provide specialist autism training for key staff, such as GPs and community care assessors
3) Cannot refuse a community care assessment based solely on IQ
4) Must appoint an autism lead in their area
5) Have to develop a clear pathway to diagnosis and assessment by 2013
6) Need to commission services based on adequate population data.
The guidance provides the perfect hook to step up our efforts to make sure local authorities deliver in these crucial areas, ensuring that the Autism Act really makes a difference to the lives of people with autism and their families.
Please take action now to ask your council what progress they are making in implementing the adult autism strategy and how they will meet their new legal duties.