Thank you for contacting me about support for children and adults living with Autism.
Autism is a complex condition which affects many people in very different ways. In recent times, great progress has been made in improving our understanding of autism.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Westminster Hall debate on long waiting lists for an autism diagnosis. I fully acknowledge that we need to improve the diagnosis times for autism spectrum disorder, as well as improving the quality and consistency of data collected on waiting times and prevalence.
However, I am pleased to see that there are efforts being made across government and throughout society to support children and adults with autism. My ministerial colleagues are continuing to build on the advances made since the establishment of the Autism Act in 2009.
The Government’s current Autism Strategy will run from 2021 to 2026 and is being implemented to help to improve the lives of children and adults with autism.
This strategy aims to: tackle the barriers autistic people face so they can live independent and fulfilling lives; ensure faster diagnosis and better access to health and social care for autistic people of all ages; and support better education tailored to the needs of autistic children and young people.
This strategy was backed by £75 million in its first year alone, £40 million of which is through the NHS Long Term Plan to improve capacity in crisis services and support children with complex needs in inpatient care.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP