MP Cox welcomes National Adult Autism Strategy

Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, welcomed this week the new adult autism strategy, which was published on the 3rd March.

Along with the National Autistic Society (NAS), the MP has strongly championed improved services in Devon for those with autistic spectrum disorders. Mr Cox has been calling for dramatic improvements in health, social care and other public services for people with autism and is to hold a meeting on Thursday for families and parents of those with ASD with the boss of Devon's mental health Trust, Ian Tulley.

He also sponsored the Autism Act in Parliament, which gives the strategy legal force. This means local authorities and NHS services who fail to provide support for people with autism will be breaking the law.

The three year strategy, "Fulfilling and rewarding lives", comes in response to NAS research revealing at least 1 in 3 adults with autism are experiencing serious mental health difficulties due to a lack of support.

The adult autism strategy calls for a new programme to develop training with health and social care professional bodies, autism awareness training for all Jobcentre Plus Disability Employment Advisers, improved access to diagnosis and guidance to make public services accessible for adults with autism.

Geoffrey Cox said ""People with autism have a great deal to offer and we know that many want to work but are unable to get the help and support they need to fulfil their potential. It is crucial that people with serious, lifelong conditions such as autism are able to find help when seeking employment and are supported financially when they cannot work."

"We have got to tackle the ignorance and inequality routinely experienced by those with ASD. This vitally important strategy is the first stage and I'm delighted people with autism have won the recognition they need and deserve. Now, I'd like to see that local services get the support they need to drive these changes and really make a difference on the ground for people affected by the condition."

Anyone who would like to attend the meeting for families of those with ASD with Ian Tulley CEO of the Devon Partnership Trust can telephone Geoffrey Cox's Constituency office on 01237 459001.