Last year the National Autistic Society published research that found that two thirds of councils did not know how many children with autism were resident in their area and only two knew the number of adults.   Cheryl Gillan, a Conservative MP, has tabled a private member’s bill to compel councils to collate this information
In the meantime Phil Hope, the Care Services Minister, said that there was no doubt that tens of thousands of people with autism have been repeatedly let  down by the social care and health system while Labour has been in power.
He admitted that despite years of campaigning by parents and charities for better services such as respite care and tailored therapies, people with autism have “not been well served”.
He has announced that the government would launch an adult autism strategy in April, to be followed by a 12 week consultation period with possible statutory guidance that would require local authorities to make improvements.   Last May it was announced that research to establish the scale of demand for services across the country would be carried out and the Minister has confirmed that this will now get under way.
This is a summary of an article written by Mary O’Hara which appeared in the Observer on 22 February 2009
Jane Gregory
 Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
March 2009

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