The National Autistic Society suggest that over 700,000 (1 in 100) people are on the autistic spectrum in the UK, more recent findings published by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that this number could be closer to 1 in 59. For these people and their families, there is often a battle to get the information, support and care they need. Fundamental struggle exist for autistic people in engaging with the world around them, leading to difficulties accessing adequate services.
In March of 2018 the Government published the “Think Autism strategy governance refresh” in which, to ensure future sustainability of the workforce caring for and supporting people of all ages with autism, it laid out two overarching strategy objectives:
Reducing the gap in life expectancy for autistic people
Autistic people are able to play a full role in society
The two objective where broken down across 5 domains of which workforce development became the responsibility of the Department of Health and Social Care and Health Education England.
On the 5 December 2018 the government announcement that they be leading a “review to improve the lives of autistic children”As an outcome of the above we have been able to lead the development of England first ever The Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People further details can be seen below in the “Important publications section”.
Children and adults with or without an official identification of Autistic Spectrum Conditions have the right to receive support when they need it, from a workforce that is equipped with the right skills, values and behaviours. We would like to continue to work with experts by experience, their families and other experts in the field to support the workforce to continue to grow and evolve their practices so that they can better support people to live a good life.
The Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People (2019) has now been published and is also available in an easy read format.
This framework was commissioned by Health Education England as one of the key objectives for workforce development in delivering the Autism Strategy, overseen by the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC). Project delivery was led by Skills for Health, working in collaboration with Skills for Care, National Autistic Society and Opening Minds.
The framework spans all ages and demonstrates the collaborative nature of its development (including co-production with autistic people and their families) across multiple partners. The purpose of the framework is to support development and planning of the workforce, and to inform the design and delivery of education and training programmes.
We believe that by providing accessible ‘real life’ scenarios that many people encounter with applied understanding of the potential impact for someone on the autistic spectrum that it will raise awareness, reduce the stigma and promote greater equality for people on the autistic spectrum to live fulfilling and rewarding lives. They scenarios are not intended to be an education resource on autism rather a tool to support greater awareness when thinking about how to support someone with autism and /or their families in practical ways.