On World Autism Awareness day new milestones to help adults with autism in England live independently in a society that understands them, were set out by Care Services Minister Phil Hope.

The first-year delivery plan for the Government’s Autism Strategy timetables key priorities, including:

·        support to find jobs;
·        a public awareness campaign;
·        training for front-line health and social care staff; and
·        publishing statutory guidance.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:

“I am determined to deliver real change for people with autism who often find themselves excluded from society because of poor understanding about their condition. The United Nations World Autism Awareness day helps challenge misconceptions about autism everywhere.

“In England, we are developing mainstream public services that meet the needs of every person with autism. Supporting people to live independent lives, find work and provide for themselves, allows them to play a part in society and breaks down the stigma surrounding the condition. That’s why our autism strategy is a foundation for culture change.”

Currently, just 15 per cent of adults with autism are in paid employment and 49 per cent live at home with parents. Autism is a life-long disability and encompasses a broad spectrum of conditions which impairs a persons ability to communicate and understand the world around them.

The strategy is backed up by the Autism Act 2009, the first ever condition- specific legislation. Statutory guidance for health and social care will be introduced to ensure that local services implement the strategy.