Supporting people with autism through adulthood

Supporting people with autism through adulthood

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Autism, which includes Asperger syndrome, is a lifelong condition which affects the way in which people interact with the world around them. There are estimated to be 400, 000 adults with autism in England, many of whom may require specialised support. Yet the NAO found that most NHS organisations and local authorities do not know how many people with autism there are in the areas they serve, and three quarters of local authorities do not have a specific commissioning strategy for adults with autism. GPs and social care staff have low awareness of autism and how to diagnose it, with 80 per cent of GPs surveyed reporting that they need additional guidance and training in order to identify and treat patients with autism more effectively. Around 200, 000 adults with autism do not have a learning disability. This group often fails to secure appropriate support, as health and social care services are traditionally configured for people with a learning disability, a physical illness or disability, or a mental health problem (which autism is not). Three quarters of local authorities said adults with autism who do not meet eligibility criteria experience or report difficulties accessing the services they require. Almost two thirds felt that current services for adults with autism are limited. Providing specialised support could improve outcomes for this group of people and their carers, and potentially enhance value for money, as the costs of establishing such support could be outweighed over time by overall savings. There are few specialised employment support services for people with autism. A lack of understanding of autism is a significant barrier to gaining employment and more training is needed for those delivering employment support and those administering benefits.Department for Children, Schools and Families Has overall policy responsibility for childrena#39;s education and social care and ... Further education and training Planned and funded by Learning and Skills Council, delivered by further education colleges. ... Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills Has overall policy responsibility for all post-19 learning, including further and higher education.

Title:Supporting people with autism through adulthood
Author:Great Britain: National Audit Office
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2009-06-05


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