Welsh autistic assistance placed under the microscope
07/04/2011 Leave a comment
Becoming the first country within the United Kingdom to launch a government strategy in relation to the autistic spectrum, Wales’ national assembly has created an action plan which outlines how those in power will aim to not only meet the needs of those affected by disability but also their families.
Initially published in April 2008, their ten-year ASD Strategic Action Plan discussed how needs of those affected would be met by authorities throughout the country with an implementation phase putting any beneficial changes into place over a three year period.
Using this time-frame to identify gaps in care for those with autism, develop assistance in localized areas and provide funding for schemes which would help Welsh people that required it most, initial ideas were developed and implemented though research taken last year has shown how those affected would like to see improvement made.
By initially holding a series of nine focus groups across the country during summer 2010, representatives from different areas of life such as people with autistic tendencies, family members linked with the complex range of conditions, carers and staff from the National Autistic Society Cymru, the branch of Britain’s main autism charity local to the nation, discussed how services could be further developed for greater ease.
Produced from any points raised, surveys were then sent out to all families and individuals affected so that a larger scale of response could be obtained before any further plans could be produced.
The Life We Choose, a report created by the NAS, shows results gathered from the intensive study whilst revealing how any findings will be put into realistic practice throughout the remainder of 2011.
Working alongside the initial action plan which gave autism an individual voice from the government’s Cardiff base, strategies and statistics expressed throughout this view of national assistance shows how members of the general public feel about help that is currently offered in largely negative ways.
Proving difficult to find any positivity as there appears to be a great amount of unhappiness surrounding current levels of support offered, figures generated show that the majority of those who took part in the survey feel there isn’t enough assistance provided through several areas of everyday living which could act as a benefit to all.
Looking at the subject of diagnosis and post-diagnostic support, 58% of those contacted believe that consultants and specialists take too long in determining that a person has autism while a further 10% have failed to receive an inconclusive result after a 10-year search for an answer to any traits shown which could be linked with the spectrum.
Coupled with this apparent lack of assistance in attempting to get medical help for those who need it most, 59% of all parents surveyed believe that greater levels of support are required during later stages of development as valuable assistance had been lost during earlier years due to a lack of disability confirmation from those who are trained to provide an answer.
Summing these commonly shared feelings up in only a few words, one comment shown the amount of animosity felt towards the government despite their recently implemented changes.
It said: “We have had to fight for every service [my son] has used ever since we moved to Wales.
“Without us as his articulate, persistent parents I do not know what would have happened to him. He has everything he has now because we have fought enormous and stressful battles on his behalf throughout his life. Others have not been as fortunate.”
Showing strongly through stats displayed on the NAS website, this view of negativity isn’t one that is felt on a personal level but a feeling which can be echoed throughout Wales as a growing independent nation which seemingly struggles to help it’s autistic citizens.