People with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are falling
through the gaps between mental health and learning difficulty
A new report from the National Autistic Society (NAS), ‘Autism:
the demand for advocacy’, finds that although two thirds of
advocacy organisations surveyed claim to support people with ASD,
only 11 per cent of people with ASD believe they are getting access
to the advocacy services they need.
NAS attributes this discrepancy to advocacy providers not
prioritising people with ASD because of a lack of government
funding and appropriate training.
The charity is calling for better availability and access to
independent advocacy services, and is launching a three-year
initiative to help independent advocacy organisations become more
responsive to the needs of people with autism.
NAS has also called on social care minister and chairperson of
the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism, Stephen Ladyman, to
devise a “national strategy for adults with ASD”. This
would include the targeting of funding to independent advocacy
services for people with ASD.