A new autism strategy for England has been published today – setting out how the Government will support autistic people between now and 2026. This new strategy sets out several new commitments that could have a positive impact on the lives of autistic people across England. You can read the full strategy, and the commitments within it, here. At Caudwell Children we’re particularly encouraged by the fact that the Government has committed £75 million to the first year of the strategy. It is welcome that the latest strategy has specific pledges that will support autistic children and includes the following commitments:
- a pledge to improve public understanding of autism, working with autistic people to do so – at Caudwell Children, we’ve championed neurodiversity at all levels of public life, from working with local authorities through to speaking at the United Nations.
- £10.5 million to test and implement the most effective ways to reduce diagnosis waiting times for children and young people – at Caudwell Children we have developed an innovative Autism Service, and we’re working with NHS Trusts and local authorities to drive down autism assessment waiting times in the UK.
- providing funding for autism training and professional development in schools and colleges in 2021 to 2022 to improve understanding of autism among education professionals – at Caudwell Children we work with education professionals pre- and post-diagnosis to ensure children get the appropriate support in both mainstream and specialist education.
- promoting pathways to employment, such as Supported Internships, Traineeships and apprenticeships – at Caudwell Children our Digital Skills and Employability Programme supports autistic people to find employment, support and training.