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!