The key issues highlighted in the Autism chapter are:
- Availability of preventative services that would enable autistic people in their daily lives
- Access to mental health and well-being services
- Low rates of employment and vocation
- Impact of COVID-19 for people with autism
- Transition to adulthood is complex process
- Large number of adults with autism who are still cared for at home by their older carers.
The most significant gap identified in the development of the autism chapter was the insufficient data for autism across all services. This means we are unable to clearly identify the gaps and demand for different services.
The limited data sources included do however evidence that there is a growing number of children with autism and data suggest that this will continue to rise. In terms of planning, the following need to be considered:
- Ensure a common understanding and consistency across the partners in the way the data is recorded and analysed
- Carry out more analysis to plan for the needs of the population living in the region
- Engagement with people with autism and their carers to inform future developments for autism services
- Better sharing of information between partner organisations and people, particularly in terms of the services that are available across the region.
- Empowerment to achieve effective and meaningful co-production, and the need to develop the ability for people to contribute to the social change of the services they receive.
- Further planning in terms of the requirements from the ALNWA Act around a fully inclusive education service needs to continue.
In addition, further planning work needs to be undertaken in relation to the Welsh Code of Practice on the Delivery of Autism Services.