21st July 2021
By Tracie Coultas-Pitman, CEO
Today the government have published their latest autism strategy, laying out its plans for support over the next 5 years. It’s main areas of focus lie in improving understanding of autism within society and providing increased support in areas such as education, healthcare, employment and the justice system. To read the full report, visit the gov.uk website.
A new strategy will always bring a fanfare of support, along with much tutting and muttering about: “that’s all very well but how…”. At BeyondAutism our vision is a world where everyone with autism accesses an education which empowers a life full of choice, independence and opportunity. We are already delivering the “how”.
Improving understanding and acceptance of autism within society is about breaking the cycle of prejudice. We do this through community awareness schemes, through research and training, through amplifying the voice of autistic children and adults, and by being proud to challenge.
Improving autistic children and young people’s access to education and supporting positive transitions into adulthood is embedded in our schools’ curriculum and in our Post-19 community learning programmes. An educational programme for 19-25 year olds that is created around the individual’s ideal week, ensuring that each person is able to live where they want, doing what they want, with who they want and with just enough support to be successful. We have designed and implemented an independence framework that compliments Preparation for Adulthood and the National Curriculum. We have outreach models that reduce school placement breakdown, addressing the needs of the school environment in conjunction with the needs of the child. Improving access to education undoubtedly starts in the early years – working with parents and children together, empowering them to meet the needs of their child; leading to aspirational informed choices for the step into primary education. Our Early Years model in Bromley is a powerful platform for the future of autistic children.
Supporting more autistic people into employment is embedded through our work experience curriculum, through our organisational internships and with the imminent launch of a toolkit created with and for autistic people and employers.
£75 million pledged for the first year of the strategy represents the biggest investment for England’s people with autism that we’ve seen. It’s an investment which has the potential to create real change if delivered upon. Our organisation has the expertise and the agility to work with Local Authorities, the public sector and the private sector to shape the “how” of today into the solutions for a changed and sustainable future. We’re not going to wait for someone else to have the answers. We’re inviting you to join us, alongside autistic people and their families, to accelerate the change we all want to see. Get in touch today on 020 3031 9705 or by email.