Ambitious about Autism aims to get it ‘right from the start’ for children with autism
Working with leading bodies in the field of autism, health and early education, the charity plans to develop a programme of support that will help parents to understand their options if they suspect their young child may have autism.
Research has shown that families are waiting on average four years for an autism diagnosis, with almost half receiving no follow-up appointment post diagnosis and only a third being signposted to further advice or help.
Ambitious about Autism is undertaking further research with the University of Warwick to understand the impact that these problems and delays are having on families trying to access support for autism in the early years.
From its new evidence base, the charity aims to create a straight-forward and easy to understand resource that will explain all to parents about what they can expect from the diagnosis process, and what support will be available on their journey.
Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said:
“It’s critically important for children with autism to have their needs assessed and understood as early as possible – so they have access to all the support they need to learn, thrive and achieve as they grow up.
“Sadly, we know that the current autism diagnosis and support system is fragmented and confusing - leaving parents struggling to understand their options at a critical, but often tumultuous time in their lives.
“The aim of our Right from the Start project is to equip parents with knowledge that will empower them as they navigate this system - helping them feel better informed, more autism-confident, and ultimately ensuring they can secure the support their child needs as early as possible.”
As part of its research, Ambitious about Autism is keen to hear from families of young children with an autism diagnosis, or suspected diagnosis to understand their experience and identify the gaps in access to early years support. You can complete the University of Warwick’s online survey here.
Or if you’d prefer you can request a paper version online to be posted to your address. Or you can request a paper version by emailing your details and address to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the research team on 024 7657 5866.
For more information about the Right from the Start project please feel free to contact Alison Worsley, Director of External Affairs.