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Article Date: 04 Dec 2009 – 1:00 PST

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has today criticised the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) report for ignoring the many thousands of people with autism, in their first assessment of the state of adult social care in England.

NAS director of communications and public affairs, Benet Middleton, said;

“We are extremely frustrated and disappointed that the performance of autism services has not been measured within this report.

With almost two thirds of adults with autism telling us they do not have enough support to meet their needs we know that thousands simply are not able to enjoy the same rights, freedoms or quality of life as the rest of society.

Assessments such as this are hugely important in driving an improvement in the quality of services and yet again people with autism have been overlooked.

The Government’s adult autism strategy, due next spring, presents one of the best opportunities we have ever had to tackle the routine inequality experienced by people with this serious, lifelong and disabling condition. The CQC must specifically report on autism services so we can see whether the strategy is working and crack down on those who are performing badly.”

The CQC is working in a number of areas to improve adult social care. The NAS looks forward to working together with the CQC to ensure that services for people with autism reach the standard that they need and deserve.

The CQC’s assessment of social care services for adults includes measuring their performance against seven outcomes set by the Government. These are improved health and emotional well being, improved quality of life, making a positive contribution, choice and control, freedom from discrimination, economic well being and personal dignity. It is evident from NAS research that for most adults with autism these remain a wish list.

– 63% do not have enough support to meet their needs
– 1 in 3 are experiencing serious mental health difficulties due to a lack of help
– 72% would like to spend more time in the company of other people
– Only 15% are in full time paid employment
– 56% have been bullied or harassed in adult life*

*Statistics from the NAS I Exist campaign based on a survey of 1,412 adults with autism in England published in 2008

– Autism (including Asperger syndrome) is a lifelong developmental disability. It is a spectrum condition occurring in varying degrees of severity. Over 500,000 people have autism in the UK today and over 2 million people are affected by the disability. It is characterised by a triad of impairments: difficulties forming social relationships, problems with verbal and non-verbal communication and the development of strong narrow obsessional interests.

Source
The National Autistic Society
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/172940.php



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