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Autism Act 2009 is now law

(12 Posts)
amberlight Thu 22-Oct-09 13:04:25

Davros Thu 22-Oct-09 15:44:32

I know I am being dim. This is all for adult provision (great) but is there an equivalent, ASD-specific Act for children?

amberlight Thu 22-Oct-09 16:59:33

The Act came about largely after huge pressure from parents who had pointed out to their MPs that the minute their children hit adulthood, anything they'd struggled to get for them would completely stop, leaving them with nothing again.

I'm not aware of any equivalent full children's Bill, but they are strengthening existing legislation to help children, they say, e.g. the Children & Young People's Plans. Much more to be done. Much much more.

Davros Thu 22-Oct-09 18:52:34

Thanks for that info. I want to show hard evidence to my borough and those "working" on Short Breaks & Aiming High that there is real need for ASD-specific services and STOP them driveling on about Inclusion non-stop. Not that I am against Inclusion per se, but its something of an ideology here and it should be ONE of various choices imo.

anonandlikeit Thu 22-Oct-09 19:10:12

Oh Davros, don't get me started on "aiming high & short breaks"
I am in the process of writing to our county council director of childrens services.
Our council is one of those selected to try the new short breaks scheme.
But what it amounts to (as far as i can tell) is big investment in to a fancy website, re registering of all the disabled children in the county, they sent them all out a crap goody bag with mouse mat, sticky pompom thing & pencil but NO ADDITIONAL PROVISION.
Its basically a list of all the kids clubs that were already available .
Big investment of tax payer money with no increasen service provision angry

sorry for hijack

likeacuppa Thu 22-Oct-09 23:10:50

Perhaps I'm too much of a Pollyanna, but. It just seems to me this is a huge step forward. Just because there's so much more to be done, it doesn't mean this is worth nothing. I do think it is amazing that this has become law, apart from anything else it sets a precedent for other, disability-specific legislation, and as far as I can see NAS has played a blinder in getting so much parliamentary support behind it. I guess I feel the sceptical response here is a bit mean-spirited, and sometimes a bit 'well, it's not for children, so why should we care?'. Well, one day our children with autism will be adults with autism.

debs40 Fri 23-Oct-09 00:08:44

I think that it is deeply unfair to come on this board and say that the attitude here is 'it's not for children so why should we care'. My attitude is that this is a small step in the right direction but it is only that. I shan't be celebrating tonight.

It is not a question of adults versus children - children grow up to be adults after all hmm. However, the reality is that unless we tackle this issue with the provision of proper expert services for children, we are shutting the gate after the horse has bolted by counting the number of autistic adults and providing paper strategies for their support.

I understand that small steps start somewhere and that this is the easier end of things to tackle politically. This is undoubtedly why consensus was so easily and readily obtained. But politicians rarely agree on issues which have major resource implications and my concern would be that the statutory obligations imposed are wide and may amount to very little in practice.

I think similar issues arise in relation to statutory duties on equality issues generally and the new Equalities Bill.

It is to be welcomed and applauded but the sad reality is that unless more experts are trained, unless provision is made more consistent nationally, unless there is a greater awareness of the issues regarding ASD, unless services are more available and accessible to children from a young age than we waste opportunities for early intervention and may fail children as they are placed in a school and health system which, at present, cannot pick up and address these issues effectively.

That is why, to me at least, the focus, seems wrong.

Davros Fri 23-Oct-09 08:23:58

I am confused by your response likeacuppa. I don't think anyone on this thread has dismissed or opposed the new Act. It is great and the NAS does not get enough credit for this sort of thing imo.
I made the mistake of diverting the thread to find out if there is something similar for children that I can use to "encourage" my borough to spend its Short Breaks and Aiming Low High money on ASD-specific services. Like anonandlikeit I am alarmed at the fairly crap job that is being done here, especially when I KNOW that neighbouring boroughs are doing a somewhat better job. Much of our funding seems to be going on paying a Co-ordinator and local parents are then expected to tell her the information she needs to do her job. They didn't even try to recruit a parent, set the qualifications and "professional" level too high (and therefore paying too much). And all this stuff about parental consultation and involvement is just driving me mad. I've always done as much as I can to be available as a parent volunteer but it now just seems like cheap labour to me. So far there seems to be little that is new here, its just extra spaces on schemes/clubs that are already not suitable and more money going into Inclusion. Argh!

amberlight Fri 23-Oct-09 09:32:54

A goody bag with a mouse mat, pencil and a pompom? What the heck use is that?!?
There again, at the last council conference I went to, we were given a squashy pink stressball and a biro with "Think Differently" written on it. I already do hmm. That's the problem.

cyberseraphim Fri 23-Oct-09 10:06:08

"Much of our funding seems to be going on paying a Co-ordinator"

That should be translated into Latin and made an official slogan.

Partalem Pecuniam Sempret Spendent Co ordinatus ?

amberlight Fri 23-Oct-09 11:41:31

I can visualise it before me now, complete with two Chief Executives Rampant as a Coat of Arms, each wearing a sash with the Latin for "Just Don't Care What Happens to your Sodding Children" written on it...

Davros Fri 23-Oct-09 16:43:36

Should I suggest a funny handshake? Mine is usually two fingers waved behind their backs!

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