National Autistic Society: Councils failing adults with autism

The majority of local authorities in England are failing adults with autism, a survey by the National Autistic Society today found.

The research uncovered an “astounding postcode lottery” in provision.

It was found that just one local authority in England had undertaken a head count of the number of adults with autism in their area. In addition, 64% of councils said they did not have a named team or individual responsible for autism, in contravention of Department of Health guidelines.

An online table ranking councils’ performance on autism is being maintained by the charity to keep track of their progress.

‘Simply unacceptable’

NAS chief executive Mark Lever said it was “simply unacceptable” that so many local authorities did not have a clear picture of autism in their area. He added: “Without the right support autism can have a profound and sometimes devastating effect, and we will keep campaigning until we see real change at ground level.”

The NAS survey is part of its ongoing I Exist campaign, launched in February this year, which found that 63% of adults with autism were not receiving sufficient support.

In May, then care services minister Ivan Lewis announced plans for a national strategy for adults with autism, which will be launched next year.

This will be informed by research into the number of adults with the condition.

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