Forum for Autism and Related Behaviours

24th March 2014
Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, met with parents/carers and key stakeholders from the North Devon Forum for Autism and Related Behaviours, on Friday 21 March 2014, to listen to their concerns over provision and support for adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The MP, who takes a special interest in ASD provision in Devon, keeps in regular touch with the Forum and frequently takes up individual cases on behalf of families with the DWP and other agencies. 
Various topics were discussed at the meeting, which took place at Caddsdown Business Support Centre in Bideford, including support for families, applying for benefits such as the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA), and the provision of housing.
Geoffrey Cox said: “It was a great privilege to be invited again to attend the meeting organised by the North Devon Forum for Autism and Related Behaviours. This fantastic group provides important support for families and individuals with ASD.
“We discussed a range of topics at the meeting, including the need for greater support for families when they are completing the forms required to gain access to benefits such as PIP and ESA. These forms can be so complicated that they can end up taking many hours to complete. Further, it is essential that the interviews are reduced in number and made as friendly and conducive to those who have autistic spectrum disorders as possible. 
“I have previously tackled this with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and fully intend to do so again, as it is important that barriers such as complexity are not stopping people from receiving the support they are entitled to.”