On 21 July 2021 the government published a new national strategy for improving the lives of autistic people and their families and carers in England, and implementation plan. It runs from 2021-26 and tackles 6 main themes:
- improving understanding and acceptance of autism within society;
- improving autistic children and young people’s access to education, and
supporting positive transitions into adulthood;
- supporting more autistic people into employment;
- tackling health and care inequalities for autistic people;
- building the right support in the community and supporting people in inpatient care; and
- improving support within the criminal and youth justice systems
According to the gov.uk website the strategy:
…builds on and replaces the preceding adult autism strategy, Think Autism, which was published in April 2014. It extends the scope of the strategy to children and young people for the first time.
The focus of this new strategy and implementation plan have been informed by the government’s call for evidence on the review of Think Autism, which received over 2,700 responses from autistic people, their families and carers and organisations.
In addition, the strategy has been informed by independent research the government commissioned the Policy Innovation Research Unit to undertake into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on autistic people and their families.
The government also commissioned Skills for Care, the National Development Team for Inclusion and the National Autistic Society to produce a guide to help commissioners to identify local demand and develop the right services and support for autistic people, which is published alongside the strategy.