A new approach to helping children and young people with autism has been set out by the Hampshire Children’s Autism Strategy Group, in a three-year plan that is now out for consultation.
A multi-agency partnership including health, social care, education, the voluntary sector and parents of children with autism have developed the planned improvements, overseen by Hampshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board. They now want to hear people’s views on the proposed strategy, and how it could be improved.
It is estimated that more than half a million people in the UK have autism, with around 4,000 children and young people, aged 0-25, living with autism in Hampshire.
The draft strategy aims to ensure children and young people with autism have the right support and opportunities to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives.
The consultation runs until 7th November 2014. Paper copies can be obtained by telephoning 07590 305082 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The strategy aims to:
- Improve autism awareness amongst those working with children and young people to make sure their individual needs are being met
- Ensure young people with autism are supported to access education, employment and training, and
- Ensure they are supported as they move through education and into adulthood.
Councillor Keith Mans, Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that can affect the way a person communicates with, and relates to, the world around them. Early recognition and interventions throughout childhood can have a significant bearing on how a child or young person with autism transitions into adult life.”
“We have a responsibility to ensure the welfare of vulnerable young people in our community. I would urge anyone caring for, or working with children and young people with autism, and the young people themselves, to share their views so that we can continue to provide services that meet the needs of those living with autism in Hampshire.”
The Hampshire Autism Strategy for Children and Young People would run from 2015-2017, and is the second part of a Hampshire lifespan autism strategy. The first part, for adults, was launched by the Hampshire Autism Partnership Board in 2012. The Hampshire Autism Strategy for Children and Young People will take forward the Council’s commitment to meet the requirements of the Autism Act 2009, and the National Autism Strategy of 2010, and it is expected that the final strategy will be launched in February 2015.