What is Autism?
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them.
It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours.
What is Asperger Syndrome?
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.
I think I might have Autism, what do I do?
If you think you might have autism, you should go to your GP and share your belief. It may be useful to complete an AQ test (which can be accessed online) as a form of self assessment and take along some information about why you think you might have autism. The GP, if in agreement, should then refer you on to your local diagnostic pathway where you will await a diagnosis.
What support is available to people with Autism in Calderdale?
The autism services directory outlines groups and organisations who provide support to people locally. There is a vast range of support available to people with autism. If you believe you have social care needs, you may be able to access support from the local authority. There are also several Asperger support groups located across Calderdale in addition to social groups. Universal services may also be able to offer support.
How do I get a community care assessment completed?
If you believe that you have social care needs you may want to pursue a community care assessment to determine whether you are eligible for social care and to receive support from your local authority. You will need to contact the Gateway to Care team to request that an allocated worker come out and complete a community care assessment. If you are refused an assessment, you should request to speak to a senior member of the social work team or a social worker who has had formal training in autism.
Where can I meet other people with Autism?
There are various peer-support groups located across Calderdale were people can meet others with an Autistic Spectrum Condition. Autism events are also a great place to meet others with autism, keep up to date with events that are planned in your local community.
I’m not getting the support I need, what can I do?
If you are not getting the support that you need, it is important that you communicate this to the relevant person, service or organisation. It may be that you require a reassessment of need if you needs have changed since the initial assessment took place. You should contact your allocated worker and explain the circumstances surrounding your current situation. In addition, the autism services directory outlines local and national services available to people with autism who may be able to offer the support that you are looking for
What is the Autism Act?
The Autism Act 2009 was the first ever disability-specific law in England. The Act did two key things.
The first was to put a duty on the Government to produce a strategy for adults with autism, which was published on 2 March 2010.
The second was a duty on the Government to produce statutory guidance for local councils and local health bodies on implementing the adult autism strategy by the end of 2010. This guidance was published on 17 December 2010.
The Act, strategy and the statutory guidance relates only to adults with autism living in England.
How can I get help around employment?
There are various services based in Calderdale who can provide support around employment. If you are seeking employment or are currently in receipt of any employment related benefits, it may be useful to speak to one of the disability employment advisors located at your nearest job centre. If your concern is that you are not receiving any support in employment, it may be useful to think about some adjustments that could be made that would support you to fulfil your role and share these with your employer. If your employer does not make ‘reasonable adjustments’, this could potentially be unlawful and it may be that you need to seek legal advice or specialist advice.
How many people have Autism?
Around 700,000 people may have autism, or more than 1 in 100 in the population.
There is no register or exact count kept. Any information about the possible number of people with autism in the community must be based on epidemiological surveys (ie studies of distinct and identifiable populations).
The latest prevalence studies of autism indicate that 1.1% of the population in the UK may have autism. This means that over 695,000 people in the UK may have autism, an estimate derived from the 1.1% prevalence rate applied to the 2011 UK census figures.