Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC)
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.
Autism 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.
Gloucestershire's Autism Strategy 2018 - 2021
“Think Autism”, the National Strategy, places an expectation on local councils and health services to develop plans to ensure that people with ASCs who live in their area get the help that they need. Gloucestershire's Autism Strategy responds to that expectation. In Gloucestershire a multi-agency ASC Partnership Board oversees the Autism Strategy. The first local strategy covered the period 2013 – 2016 and focused on adults with autism. The new strategy covers the period 2018 – 2021 and supports children, young people and adults.
Gloucestershire is working to a ten-year policy (2014 – 2024) called “Building Better Lives”, which has an all age, all disability approach. In line with this policy, the Autism Strategy sets out future priorities for people with ASCs of all ages in Gloucestershire.
The Autism Strategy was developed, following:
- a needs assessment undertaken in 2012
- an online consultation in August 2016 with members of Gloucestershire’s ASCs Network Group and the Parent – Carer Network.
- a self assessment framework completed for the Department of Health in October 2016
- a listening day in September 2017, where groups and individuals with an interest in ASCs in Gloucestershire shared their perspectives on what needed to be in the strategy
- a consultation day in October 2017, where people with ASCs and their families, as well as professionals and organisational representatives, co-productively identified the strategic priorities.
Click the link to read the strategy: Gloucestershire Autism Strategy 2018-2021
To speak to someone about the Gloucestershire Autism Strategy, contact:
Disabilities Commissioning firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01452 328667
Autism Training in Gloucestershire
In Gloucestershire we have an autism training offer to enable the local health and social care workforce meet local needs. The training covers all ages (i.e. children, young people and adults) and meets 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.
For further information on autism training, see our Autism Spectrum Condition Training page.
Film about autism
Autism Inside: An Introduction to Autism in Adulthood
Commissioned by Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and The National Autistic Society
Produced by Chocolate Films.
National and local strategies for autism since 2010
The first strategy for adults with autism in England was published in 2010 with a commitment to review it three years later. This strategy was entitled Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives. Read more about this here: Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives - the 2010 autism strategy
Gloucestershire responded with an Adult Autism Strategy 2013 - 2016, which was signed off by the Health and Wellbeing Partnership Board in July 2013.
The 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. The Strategy's progress was monitored by the ASC Partnership Board.
Following the strategy's sign off in July 2013, the ASC Partnership Board identified five priorities for action. Progress was made in the following areas:
Data improvement: Through an audit of GP surgeries, it was established that the number of people with autism in Gloucestershire was 1882, or 0.3% of the patient population.
Workforce development: £40k was identified to fund a project to improve workforce awareness of autism across key professional groupings.
Employment: An employment passport profile was designed as a practical tool to help adults with autism in their ability to find and stay in work.
Social Inclusion: A community wellbeing contract led by the Independence Trust was introduced, which included support for adults with autism. Reducing social isolation of many adults with autism was a key priority.
Transition improvements: All 15 to 16 year old young people with ASC with an SEN statement would have a clear post-16 transition plan. New information for parents and young people was produced, covering education, health, housing and employment.
Autism Self-Assessment Framework
Periodically an Autism Self-Assessment Framework (SAF) is carried out across the country, which enables local authorities, including Gloucestershire, to assess and show the progress at a local level towards meeting the requirements of the Autism Act 2009 and the Think Autism Strategy.
The SAF enables stakeholder groups to understand what progress is being made. The analysis supports future planning with partners, including people with autism and their families. The self-assessment data offers an opportunity to compare local authority areas and develop benchmarks.
Further information about the Autism Self-Assessment Exercise, including Gloucestershire’s response:
Gloucestershire's Autism Self-Assessment Framework (2014)
A SAF has been undertaken in late 2018, details of which will be published when available.
Other Useful Contacts
Gloucestershire Adult Social Care - advice and access to social care services and getting a social care assessment.
Telephone: 01452 426868
Your Circle - a directory to help you find your way around health and care and connect with people, places and activities in Gloucestershire.
glosfamilies directory - which includes the Family Information Directory, Gloucestershire's Local Offer and Information for Practitioners
The National Autistic Society - 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.
Gloucestershire Carer's Hub - information & advice for adult carers.
Telephone: 0300 111 9000
Gloucestershire Young Carers - providing a range of services for young carers and their families.
Telephone: 01452 733060
Independence Trust - Offering local support through counselling and advice.