The National Autistic Society today launched a campaign to address the plight of adults with autism after a survey showed nearly two-thirds lacked support.
The charity said that adults with autism were a neglected and isolated group and their number was unknown, making service planning difficult.
Its survey of 1,400 adults with autism and family members found 40% of those with the condition still lived at home, just 15% were in work and three-quarters either did not have any friends or found it difficult to make them.
Among its aims, the I Exist campaign wants the government to conduct a national prevalence study of autism among adults and issue statutory guidance for councils to reduce barriers to people who want to access services.
It also called on councils to ensure that professionals who assessed the care needs of adults with autism were fully trained in dealing with the condition and to fund befriending and social skills programmes.
The campaign website includes several blogs by adults with autism, including Robyn Steward, a 21-year-old student with Asperger’s syndrome.
Her entry today reads: “Loneliness sticks to you like tarmac on a hot day, its underside pulling at reality and ripping its edges, revealing a bottomless pit of emptiness. A rotting black hole, I know this feeling almost so well that its familiarity is comforting; a special bond inside of me that no one seems to be able to break.”
Essential information on autism