We are passionate about making a difference to autistic children and young people.
We prioritise our work by focusing on the following principles:
- The changes autistic children and young people and their parents and carers want. Through our Ambitious Youth Network, we jointly develop campaigns.
- Our knowledge and expertise. We have expertise in education and employability and expanding work in other areas that are essential for autistic children and young people to lead fulfilling lives, such as having supportive families and relationships, good health and wellbeing and being active citizens in their communities.
- What will make the biggest difference? We’re pragmatic and will look at where we think we can persuade people to do things differently, while having the greatest impact.
We will support autistic young people and their families to influence policy and practice nationally to improve their access to excellent education, quality health support, and fulfilling careers. We will use our experience from direct work with autistic young people and families, and work with partners, to maximise impact.
We will do this by:
- increasing awareness and acceptance of autistic children and young people within society
- campaigning to prevent school exclusion and for changes to funding and accountability to incentivise inclusion of autistic children and young people
- working with partners to push for a recovery plan, identifying the gaps in education for autistic young people that urgently need filling
- conducting research and campaign to reduce inequalities in autism diagnosis for children and young people (including gender, racial and socioeconomic inequalities)
- campaigning for pre- and post-diagnosis support, including for autistic teenagers where there is no specific provision
- working with partners to appeal for increased mental health support in the wake of the pandemic
- influencing to make careers advice, paid work-based learning programmes and ‘experience of work’ an accessible and realistic option for autistic young people to progress to employment
- influencing practice nationally through partnerships such as the Autism Education Trust and training and development activity.