Improving access to social care for adults with autism

Improving access to social care for adults with autismThis guide is primarily for frontline, managerial and commissioning staff in the social care sector. Most sections are relevant for all of these groups, while some are targeted at either people working on the front line or more senior staff.

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Key recommendations:

  • Greater understanding of autism among the social care workforce is really important, but it needs to go hand-in-hand with in-depth knowledge of the individual with autism.
  • Better awareness of autism in the social care sector can help people get a diagnosis of autism, and get timely and appropriate support when they are diagnosed.
  • Staff supporting people with autism need to make adjustments in how they work, plan and communicate, with people with autism and with each other, so that services can be more accessible to people with autism.
  • Managers and commissioners of services also need to be flexible, creative and collaborative in how they meet the needs of people of autism. People with autism whose behaviour challenges services, and those with Asperger’s Syndrome or high-functioning autism, in particular need better access to services.
  • Good support is vital when people with autism experience significant life changes.
  • Frontline and senior staff need to work with people with autism to enable them and their families to make the most of personalisation. 
  • Support with social interaction and practical everyday living tasks can address some of the needs people with autism commonly have, at relatively low cost.
  • Multi-disciplinary specialist autism services can provide good outcomes forpeople with autism. The carers of people with autism typically know them extremely well.
  • Professionals should offer carers support in their own right, and work in partnership with them to provide the best possible assessment and service provision.