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Autism awareness

Around 700,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum. Together with their families, this means autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people. Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. We are keen to ensure that the workforce have access to appropriate awareness raising resources to enable them to provide appropriate care to people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions across all settings.

The skills competencies and knowledge to enable people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions to access mainstream and specialist services is being identified and mapped through developing a series of vignettes. The vignettes will highlight a range of situations people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions encounter and the impact they have on their lives which will be used lead discussion with a range of expert groups to identify the subsequent skills, competencies and knowledge. The vignettes combined with the guidance and knowledge from the expert groups, will provide the foundation to develop a national 'so what next' campaign. Our aspiration is for an expert lead campaign that will raise the profile of the skills, competencies and knowledge and be an emotive call to action for the whole workforce and wider society; reflecting on their own behaviours, practices and the impact to a people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions.

George Matuska, Transforming Care Workforce, who is leading the Autism project said:

Children and adults with or without an official identification of an 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 will work with experts by experience, their families and other experts in the field to support the workforce to grow and evolve their practices so that they can better support people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions achieve optimal outcomes.

You can get in touch with the team at HEE via autism@hee.nhs.uk.

A to Z list of autism education resources

A list of resources can be downloaded from this page. The list draws upon training materials developed by a range of organisations within the health, social care and voluntary sector, many of which were funded by the Department of Health. The resources aim to increase awareness and understanding of autistic spectrum conditions to enable frontline staff to better recognise and respond more effectively to the needs of children and adults with autistic spectrum conditions.

The resources have been reviewed and guidance is given regarding cost, access and type of education resource. This process will continue throughout the lifetime of the project with additional resources added and comments adjusted over time.

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