Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Communicating Autistic Needs

Cllr Emma Warman has broken her blogging exile to report on a special meeting of RBC's Education and Children's Services Scrutiny Panel. She was clearly moved by the Berkshire Autistic Society's presentation and described it as highly informative.

Meanwhile Anna Roberts regurgitates a series of statistics showing that Reading has above average numbers of sufferers - 25% of the town's children live with special needs, compared to the national average 17%.

One of the major problems is that intensive two-way communication is not taught in the borough's schools which often leads to reduced life skills and social exclusion.

The meeting was part of a country-wide consultation exercise, building on the National Autistic Society's Exist campaign. A series of similar meetings across the country will form the basis of future government strategy and contribute the major part to the forthcoming Autism Bill which will create legal duties for authorities to provide acceptable levels of support to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

One change will be to introduce a specialist team to every local authority with the responsibility to improve identification and diagnosis thereby enabling better care provision and planning.

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