Autistic Spectrum Disorder
What is Autism?
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.
What is Asperger syndrome?
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.
Autism Training and Education Strategy for Gloucestershire
A strategy to help the local health and social care workforce meet local needs and the requirements of the national autism strategy.
Our autism training programme is open to all Health and Social Care staff in Gloucestershire including those in the Voluntary and Independent sector.
More About the National Adult Autism Strategy
The first ever strategy for adults with autism in England was published in 2010 with a commitment to review this strategy three years later.
In 2013, the Government asked for feedback from adults with autism, parents, carers and professionals about how well the 2010 strategy had been implemented so far.
The new strategy - Think Autism - was published in April 2014. This updated strategy states that all of the existing recommendations and duties from the 2010 strategy still apply to local authorities and NHS bodies.
The existing duties and recommendations from the 2010 strategy are:
- improved training of frontline professionals in autism
- the recommendation to develop local autism teams
- actions for better planning and commissioning of services, including involving people with autism and their parents/carers
- actions for improving access to diagnosis and post-diagnostic support
- leadership structures at national, regional and local levels for delivery
- proposals for reviewing the strategy to make sure that it is working.
Taken from: Adult autism strategy for England
More about the local implementation of the Adult Autism Strategy
Gloucestershire Adult Autism Local Strategy 2013-16
Gloucestershire's Adult Autism Strategy 2013 - 2016 was signed off by the Health and Well Being Partnership Board in July 2013.
Local strategy was built on a needs assessment completed in October 2012.The needs assessment included extensive consultation with adults with autism and their carers which itself led to the creation of an Autism Network. Groups of adults with autism and their carers/other family members (circa 70+) now meet in several locations around the county.
Strategy progress is monitored by the multi- agency Autistic Spectrum Conditions Partnership Board (ASCPB) which meets quarterly.
Local strategy reflects the updated national strategy, 'Think Autism 2014', with five priorities aimed at improving the lives of adults with autism ;
- increasing awareness and understanding of autism;
- developing clear, consistent pathways for the diagnosis of autism;
- improving access for adults with autism to services and support;
- helping adults with autism into work; and
- enabling local partners to develop relevant services.
Following local strategy sign off in July 2013 the ASC Partnership Board identified five priorities for action. Progress has been made;
- Data Improvement.
Via an audit of GP surgeries there are now figures for number and distribution of people with autism in Gloucestershire - 1882 people with autism constituting 0.3% of the patient population.
- Workforce development
£40 k identified to fund a project to improve workforce awareness of autism across key professional groupings.
An employment passport profile has been designed as a practical tool to help adults with autism in their ability to find and stay in work. Links have been made with employers and a bid made to the Autism Innovation Fund for a project to create some apprenticeships for young adults with autism.
- Social Inclusion.
A new five year county contract for community wellbeing led by the Independence Trust includes adults with autism. This has potential for addressing the social isolation of many adults with autism
- Transition improvements.
All 15/16 year old young people on the autism spectrum with an SEN statement have a clear post 16 Transition plan. New information for parents and young people has been produced, covering education, health, housing and employment.
Additional priorities for local action in 2015/16 are currently being considered. They include;
- Local Housing strategy does not specifically identify autism.
- Links with the Criminal Justice System.
- Improving the voice of adults with autism and generating more social activities
- Needs in Black and minority ethnic communities
Gloucestershire 'Adult Autism and Asperger Syndrome Strategy 2013-16'
To speak to someone about the Gloucestershire Adult Autism strategy, contact: David Grocott firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 0743 6264592
2014 Autism Self-Assessment Framework (2014)
The national strategy and the accompanying statutory guidelines which were set out with the aim of improving the lives of people with autism, emphasised that one of the most important steps to take when improving services for adults with autism is to increase awareness and understanding of autism across all public services through training.
In 2013 Gloucestershire published its 'Adult Autism and Asperger Syndrome Strategy 2013-16' as part of the ongoing local work to fulfil the requirements of the 2010 national Autism strategy 'Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives' which was published to support the implementation of the Autism Act 2009.
A key aim of the local strategy is therefore also to increase awareness and understanding of autism across all public services in order to increase the ability of staff to recognise autism to meet people's needs. As part of their continued commitment to both the national and local Autism strategy, some funds were agreed to set up and deliver an 'Autism Workforce Development Strategy Project'.
The National Autistic Society (NAS) has been commissioned by Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to undertake a project which supports the implementation and development of the Gloucestershire Autism Workforce Development Strategy.
This delivers a staged pathway of training and development from awareness to specialist training. This approach aims to increase awareness across all relevant agencies and enable professionals to recognise autism to communicate effectively, adapting their behaviour and services appropriately.
A workforce development sub group oversees implementation and reports to the Autism Partnership Board.
Other Useful Contacts
Gloucestershire Adult Social Care - advice and access to social care services and getting a social care assessment.
Telephone 01452 426868
The National Autistic Society (Charity No.269425) - Information, support and campaigning for a better world for people with autism.
Telephone 0808 8004104
The National Autistic Society's Autism Services Directory - Comprehensive directory of services and support for people with autism, and those who work with them.
Carers Gloucestershire - Information, advice and advocacy services for carers.
Telephone 01452 386283
Independence Trust - Offering local support through counselling and advice.
You're Welcome - A community website for Gloucestershire people to learn about events and contribute. Hosted by the Barnwood Trust.
Autism Network Group - For people with autism. Parents and carers give feedback to and from Gloucestershire Autism Partnership Board.