Carers feel autism services are poor

More than half of carers for people with autism and Asperger’s
syndrome have found getting support from social services difficult,
and a further 40 per cent were dissatisfied with the support they
received, states a new report.

The research, published by the National Autistic Society to mark
Autism Awareness Week 2003, finds that, as well as 60 per cent of
carers having difficulty accessing support, many could not find a
social worker they felt understood their needs.

Steve Broach, co-author of the report said: “An urgent priority is
autism awareness training and job-specific training in autism for
all professionals working with this group.”

The report argues that people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome
don’t match the eligibility criteria used to measure support needs
of people with disabilities and their families, and subsequently
miss out on their rights and entitlements.

It says this situation is exacerbated by the fact that more than a
third of carers do not understand the benefits system, with many of
those who do receive support saying they had to fight for it.

Meanwhile, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism has launched
a Manifesto for Autism signed by representatives from all the main
political parties this week.

The manifesto sets out specific objectives to deliver better
services and support for people with autism to be achieved by the
government in the next 10 years.

– Autism: Rights in Reality from

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