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Autism strategy published today

damo73's picture
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damo73


Autism strategy published today

Fri 16 Mar 2012 12:39pm

Hello everyone,

The autism startegy was published today and is available in pdf format from the department of health website - called 'fulfilling lives...' - I found it quite hard to find the link, but it is up there now.

There is a fair deal of good stuff in there (if implemented well) - that may help my situation!  Having said that, there is a number of problems with it (well - I couldn't have expected miracles!): the report suggests that training in ASCs should be included in equality and diversity training across all public services (although I once did one of these in CPD as an FE lecturer and it was an online short course with no contact with real people).

The biggest problem I found concerning training for professionals (apart from a very small budget for it) was the following comments:

"While it will be up to individual organisations to decide how to provide such training, the forthcoming statutory guidance will provide examples of best practice for health and social care, and emphasise the importance of involving adults with autism and their carers in developing and delivering training" (p.27)

"While it will remain up to individual organisations to decide on the adjustments that they can make, potential areas include: premises, processes..." (p.43)

For the last year I have written letters, talked to various professionals etc. in my local area about the need for training and offering my services.  Of all the people I have been in contact with only one ever got back in touch with me - a policeman working on disability hate crime who then got blocked by his superiors and it came to nothing.  There is not enough impetus here for organisations to do anything worthwhile (just to be seen to be doing something to ensure targets are met etc.).  The lack of willingness to engage with someone who actually has autism is palpable in nearly every contact I have with professionals from across the board.  I think there should be more compulsion on a number of institutions.

"It is essential that the views of adults with autism and their carers are sought and taken into account in the development and delivery of services locally." (p.71)

Exactly!  The problem is that locally speaking, this is the opposite of what has happened.  At least I have a government document to wave in their faces now!  So, I guess I will keep banging my head against this particular brick wall for some time to come!

Damian

--
Damian - Retired Community Champion

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  • asteroids's picture

    It's a bit disappointing really. There isn't any requirement for anyone to get training! It's all just recommendations.I was disappointed with the BBC coverage as they showed people with learning disabilities in residential homes.......! I will rant again......what about the thousands of adults who live independently and still can't access jobs, benefits, support??????

    Asteroids Sara - Community Champion

    Asteroids Sara
  • damo73's picture

    Absolutely Sara!

    Even if institutions instill training, I am highly skeptical of the form this will take (considering the lack of interest from such people toward my efforts over the last year).  I thought the 4 million for training teachers was a small amount, yet only half a million will be spent on the training of health and social care workers!

    As for BBC news coverage, they often annoy me.  The coverage was really quite poor - and the interview with Simon Baron-Cohen on Breakfast diverted from the issue to talk of 'causes of autism' due to the i%*$& presenter.  The strategy does however, point out needs of those not deemed as having a 'learning disability' and there seems to be some reasonable stuff regarding housing + direct payment entitlements etc.

    Damian

    Damian - Retired Community Champion
  • Robbie de Santos's picture

    Hi guys,

     

    I produced a summary for staff at TreeHouse so I'll share it with you too:

     

    Adult Autism Strategy summary – 4 March 2010 

    General

    • The Strategy focuses on change at local level
    • It also focuses on building on existing policy
    • The goal of the strategy is to move from fitting people into services to fitting services to meet people’s needs
    • First year delivery plan expected by 31 March 2010
    • Progress on Autism Strategy will be monitored by an Autism Programme Board, co-chaired by the Minister for Care Services and the Director-General of Social Care at the Department of Health (DH). The board will include representatives from other government departments as well as stakeholder groups.
     

    The Government’s vision is:

    ‘All adults with autism are able to live fulfilling and rewarding lives within a society that accepts and understands them. They can get a diagnosis and access support if they need it, and they can depend on mainstream public services to treat them fairly as individuals, helping them make the most of their talents.’ Prevalence and diagnosis
    • DH is funding a study to explore rates of autism in a representative sample of adults in England. This will report its findings in 2011.
    • NICE is developing two new clinical guidelines diagnosis, referral and management of autism – one covering adults, and one covering children and young people.
    • recommend that local areas appoint a lead professional to develop diagnostic and assessment services for adults with autism
     Strategic planning
    • Adults with autism will be included in the revised core data set for Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA), due to be published in spring 2010
    • Expect each local area to develop its own commissioning plan around services for adults with autism that reflects the output of the JSNA and all other relevant data around prevalence.
    • local authorities should follow the DH guidance which states that the Director of Adult Social Services should ensure there is a joint commissioner/senior manager who has in his/her portfolio a clear commissioning responsibility for adults with autism
    • The Valuing People Now programme will create regional boards for coordinating specialist services. The first-year delivery plan will provide examples of possible structures for such boards, drawing on best practice.
    • DH will work with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, strategic health authorities, local government offices, deputy regional directors and other key partners to support the development on a regional delivery plan for adults with autism in each government region.
    • DH will lead the development of an agreed protocol for what information should be recorded and how it should be shared with other services. This protocol will also look at how information about numbers of adults with autism locally should be compiled and fed into centrally collated data about rates of autism.
     Transition
    • Explore through research the specific experiences of young people with autism and their families of multi-agency transition services.
    •  DH and the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) are funding a study, which will report in January 2012.
     Awareness and training
    • DH will develop statutory guidance for health and social care to support the implementation of the strategy. This will be published no later than 31 December 2010
    • autism awareness should be included as part of general equality and diversity training across the public sector.
    • DH will work with Skills for Health, Skills for Care, professional bodies and the Royal Colleges to ensure that effective training is developed.
    • DH will produce guidance to indicate the kinds of adjustments that might usefully be made, from physical adjustments to premises to improving the ways those delivering services communicate with adults with autism.
    • the statutory guidance will provide examples of best practice for health and social care, and emphasise the importance of involving adults with autism and their carers in developing and delivering training.
    • ensuring that autism awareness training is provided to all Disability Equality Advisors who have not yet received it
    • essential that autism awareness training is available to all staff in the criminal justice sector health or social care
    • autism awareness should be part of the core training curricula for doctors, nurses and other clinicians, and we commit to working with the General Medical Council, which sets expected outcomes and standards for medical schools, and the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board
    • There should also be more advanced training for those wishing to follow career pathways that will focus on working with adults with autism – such as becoming personal assistants, occupational therapists or residential care workers
     Independence and employment
    • DWP will also ensure Jobcentre Plus advisers are aware both of the need to make suitable adjustments for adults with autism and of the kinds of adjustments that may be beneficial.
    • DWP is committed to ensuring that programmes work for young people with autism, and that the choices and support they are offered reflect their specific needs.
    • More detail will be published in the implementation plan
    • DH recommend that travel training is made available nationwide for all adults with autism that would benefit from it

     

    Robbie

    Policy and Parliamentary Officer

    TreeHouse

    Robbie   Policy and Parliamentary Officer TreeHouse
  • asteroids's picture

    Hi Robbie,

    Thanks for the summary.

    I have a major concern with the word 'guidance'.

    Sometimes 'guidance' is taken as law whereas other times, it is ignored. It seems to depend on whether people really think it's important, who's in charge of developing the guidance etc.

    One of the biggest problems for adults with autism is that we aren't able to get together as a group to fight for our rights. We can't do that because we have autism and we aren't very good at communicating, socialising, getting together for meetings etc. I do wonder if that's why it's taken this long for something to be done. Instead, we have to rely on other people to fight for us and I think our message sometimes gets lost in translation.

    I am still very sceptical about what help adults with AS or high functioning autism will get. I have expressed this concern many times and I just don't think people realise how difficult life can be for some of us.

    Another concern is that, if the training is mixed in with general equality and diversity training, the impact of autism will get lost. Once again, we will be pushed into the 'learning disabilities' group or the 'mental health problems' group. The whole point of the Autism Act is that it is autism specific, because autism is so complex.

    Asteroids Sara - Community Champion

    Asteroids Sara
  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Jackie

     

    Welcome to the group   Smile

     

    Had a little search about the site and found this page which contains several links to Treehouse's response to the dcsf transition consultation.   

     

    http://www.talkaboutautism.org.uk/promoting-change/influencing-decision-makers/consultations

     

    Josie - Community Champion

    Josie - Community Champion
  • bumblebee's picture

    Hi Tiamet,

     

    We will be gentle dont worry!! Welcome to the forum, its great to have another new member....I cant answer your question unfortunately, but I'm sure someone will pop in and do that for you! I was wondering about how you are linked to autism is and if you have any other things you would like to chat over? There is so much info and ideas on this site and if there are any areas you would like to discuss, please look about the forum and feel free to post away!  

     

    Claire - Community Champion

    Claire
  • JosieB's picture

    Hi Jackie

     

    A google provided this link which contains some contact details (also a warning that the content may alter due to the change in Government.

     

    http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/index.cfm?action=conResults&consultationId=1702&external=no&menu=3

     

    Josie - Community Champion

    Josie - Community Champion
  • bumblebee's picture

    Sorry Josie,

     

    We must have been typing at the same time! I wasnt ignoring you :0) 

     

    Claire - Community Champion

    Claire
  • Robbie de Santos's picture

    Hello everyone,

     

    There hasn't been a DCSF consultation specifically on transition - the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism (which is a cross-party group of MPs who are interested in autism, rather than the Government) published a big piece of research on transitions, which you can download here.

    The Department for Health's Adult Autism Strategy consultation looked at transition issues, but was more generally about services and support for adults with autism. You can find more about it here.

    The Government has also funded the National Transition Support Team, which is based at the Council for Disabled Children. This is researching transition for all children with disabilities and this will be the resreach that is published in 2012, I think!

    I hope that helps! 

     

    Robbie

    Policy and Parliamentary Officer

    TreeHouse

    Robbie   Policy and Parliamentary Officer TreeHouse
  • bumblebee's picture

    Hi Jackie,

     

    That's good news that you are hanging about! I think we can all learn a lot from you as you have been walking this path for a long time! Hope to chat soon :0) 

     

    Claire - Community Champion

    Claire

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