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Wednesday 21 July 2021

Ambitious about Autism welcomes publication of Government’s long awaited autism strategy

Today, the government has published its national autism strategy for autistic children, young people and adults for 2021 – 2026. The strategy sets out six key areas in which to make improvements for autistic people, including healthcare, education and employment. For the first time the new strategy also covers autistic children and young people, as well as adults.   

Responding to the launch of the strategy, Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said:  

“This long-awaited strategy is desperately needed by autistic children and young people and their families, who have had their lives turned upside down by the pandemic.  

“Even before COVID-19, autistic children and young people were too often denied basic and fundamental rights, such as the right to a decent education, to high quality healthcare and the opportunity to live and work in a community of their choice.  

“For many families, the pandemic has only exacerbated this, creating further loneliness, social isolation and poor health outcomes.  

“The strategy places a key focus on changing public attitudes and perceptions to autism, including training for teachers, employers and healthcare professionals. This is a key foundation for building understanding and creating autism-friendly environments that accept autistic children and young people and allow them to thrive.  

“Early intervention and support are also critical to the success of autistic children and young people and so we’re very pleased to see investment in reducing autism diagnosis waiting times. It’s vital that young people from all backgrounds have equal access to this timely diagnostic support.  

“As the strategy gets underway we will continue to monitor its progress and hold decision makers to account, to ensure it makes the maximum impact in transforming the prospects of autistic children and young people.”