Birmingham launches new Autism strategy

By on 01/04/2013 in Cllr Bedser, News, Video News

A new strategy addressing the needs of adults with Autism in the city of Birmingham was launched on World Autism Awareness Day - 2nd April 2013.

The strategy has been developed following the Autism Act of 2009 and the National Strategy 'Rewarding and Fulfilling Lives' which were brought in by the Government in response to an identified gap in provision for adults. This strategy has been supported by a Birmingham-wide Joint Strategic Needs Assessment completed in 2012.

You can take part in the Autism Strategy consultation here: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/adults-communities/www-birminghamcitycouncil

This Strategy sets out the vision for supporting the 10-20,000 adults with Autism in the city, clearly defining that adults with Autism, whatever their age, should have the same opportunities as anyone else to live “rewarding and fulfilling lives”.

Developed in partnership with Adults with Autism, Parents, Voluntary Organisations, Charities, West Midlands Police, NHS, Autism West Midlands and the Local Authority, the strategy has a clear aim to improve the lives of those living with autism, and to deliver on six key areas :

  • Raising awareness & improving training for professionals
  • Improving diagnosis through implementing clearer pathways
  • Improving opportunities for employment and education
  • Improving access to services
  • Improving transitions from childhood
  • Improving interactions with the Criminal Justice System

Councillor Steve Bedser, Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing comments: “This strategy represents a major step forward in terms of support and care for people across the city living with Autism.

“We’ve worked very closely with partners to develop the strategy and I’m confident we now have a framework to support the thousands of adults with Autism in Birmingham.”

Dr Ashok Roy, Chair Birmingham Partnership Autism Board comments: “Autism affects between 10-20,000 people in Birmingham, and this strategy is needed to ensure that we are supporting adults and their families living with the issues surrounding autism. This is the first step towards delivering a comprehensive strategy where all partners can work together to achieve greater support and care for those living with Autism.”

You can take part in the Autism Strategy consultation here: https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/adults-communities/www-birminghamcitycouncil

Ends

About Autism

  • Autism is a life-long condition affecting around 1.1% of the population. It affects all races, classes and intellectual abilities. It is a spectrum condition meaning that it affects people differently and to varying degrees.
  • Everyone with autism is different. Whilst some people with autism lead independent lives, some need lifelong care. Others will need some degree of support, which will change over the course of their lifetime.
  • Autism is not a learning disability - about half of all people with autism have average or above-average intelligence - or a mental illness. However, one in three people with autism develop mental health difficulties due to the challenge of adapting to society with inadequate support.
  • People with autism often also have issues with sensory processing. They can either be over- or under-sensitive to any of their senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste, balance and awareness of self in space).
  • There is no cure for autism but early diagnosis and specialist support can greatly improve the quality of life of people with autism.
  • Autism is a hidden condition, meaning that it is often difficult to tell that someone has autism. Lack of autism awareness can lead to misunderstandings about the reasons that a person with autism may behave in a certain way. This can sometimes increase anxiety and depression in people with autism. Increasing autism awareness is key to ensuring that people with autism receive the right support and understanding throughout life.

About Autism West Midlands

  • Autism West Midlands is the leading charity in the West Midlands for people affected by autism. The charity exists to enable all people with autism, and those who love and care for them, to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives.
  • Their passionate, expert staff and volunteers work across all age groups and abilities to provide direct support to people affected by autism.
  • Autism West Midlands supports people with autism to live as independently as possible, in residential care, or in their own or the family home. The charity provide activities, events and support for families, and an information helpline. They help people with autism to find and keep a job and offer training for parents of children with autism, and for the professionals who help them.

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  1. Rashpal Nahl says:

    Fantastic start! Long overdue. Adults with autism are so severly disadvantaged. They do not get the help or support they need, especially those who are ‘high functioning’. They could make great contribution to society if they are given the right help and support. I am so glad Birmingham has taken steps to do something to help these vunerable adults-I sincerely hope it is not just lip-service.

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