New approach to autism agreed
Thursday, 27 September 2012
A new approach to help adults with autism, their carers and families, has been agreed (21 September 2012) which aims to give people with the life-long condition the same opportunities to live a fulfilling and rewarding life as everyone else.
Partnership working to develop Strategy
The Strategy for Adults has been developed by the Hampshire Autism Partnership Board (HAPB), a partnership between Hampshire County Council, NHS Hampshire, the voluntary sector, people with autism, parents, carers, and professionals who work with people who have autism. The Strategy is the first part of a Hampshire lifespan autism strategy, with the second part for children planned for 2013.
10,000 adults with autism in Hampshire
More than half a million people in the UK are estimated to have autism, with around 10,000 adults with autism living in Hampshire. The Strategy aims to make improvements to accessing health services, suitable accommodation, work, education and training, better inclusion in community life and developing a clearer route to and from an autism diagnosis. It also focuses on supporting carers and families and increasing autism awareness among GPs.
The aims will be achieved through partnership working between health and social care agencies, voluntary and other public and private organisations. The Strategy will continue to support the work of Hampshire Autism Voice, the voluntary parents, carers and people with autism HAPB resource group.
'Lifelong hidden disability'
Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Felicity Hindson, said:
"Autism is a lifelong hidden disability that affects the way someone communicates with and relates to other people, and the world around them. I want to ensure we do everything we can to help people with autism live their lives as they wish as well as making a positive difference.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the public consultations over the last two years, which helped us develop the final Strategy."
Luke Syddall from Hampshire Autism Voice, said:
"First and foremost it was our intention to put people on the autism spectrum and their families at the forefront of the Strategy's developments. We will continue with this aim to enable people with autism to feel more included in society and just as valued as others, which they so much deserve. Our Strategy clearly shows Hampshire's commitment and desire to improve the lives of adults on the autism spectrum and their families."
The Hampshire Autism Strategy will take forward the Council's commitment to meet requirements of the Autism Act 2009 and the National Autism Strategy of 2010 and will be formally launched on 5 November.
Autism in the Strategy refers to all people with an autism spectrum condition, including Aspergers and High Functioning Autism.