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Here’s how we create a society that works for people with autism.

March 21, 2021 2:09 PM
By Munira Wilson
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people in the UK. The Liberal Democrats want to see substantial changes to make sure every individual with autism can achieve their full potential.

We believe that the government should do everything in its power to support the millions of autistic people living in the UK. Currently, that is not the case.

We have to do more to create a society that works for people with autism.

Only 8% of autistic people and 5% of family members believe that health and care services have improved since the Autism Act was passed in 2009. 77% of unemployed diagnosed autistic individuals want to work but just 16% of diagnosed autistic individuals are in full-time employment. And, misdiagnosis of autistism is far too common - especially in ethnic minorities, women, girls and non-binary individuals.

We have to do more to create a society that works for people with autism.

Our motion calls for a five-step plan of substantial changes to the way things work:

  1. Education about neurodivergence needs to be part of the curriculum in the same way mental health is, and teachers need the training to support neurodivergent students in the classroom.
  2. Reduced waitlists for diagnosis by increasing funding and making diagnoses more accessible, and by reducing the steps required for a neurodivergent diagnosis to be official in NHS terms.
  3. A change to ensure equal access to support and diagnosis for autistic women, girls, non-binary individuals and ethnic minorities.
  4. Guidance on employment to be updated to ensure the Equality Act 2010 is fulfilled and employers can support autistic individuals in their employment. Further improvements to the Autism Act 2009, to create obligations on employers and local authorities to support autistic people with their care assessments.
  5. Autistic offenders to be met with support rather than punishment when the crime is non-violent. The creation of sensory safe spaces to be provided for autistic individuals engaging with the justice system.

Read the full motion here:

Autism Support

Liberal Democrats will always champion an inclusive society. By calling for this support for individuals with autism, we are doing just that.