New Measures Improving Autism Services in Wales

More people with autism in Wales are now experiencing quicker access to better services as a result of additional Welsh Labour Government investment.

In 2016, a new Strategic Actin Plan was launched aimed at providing lifetime support to children and adults with autism and their families.

The Plan, which was backed by a £13m investment in new Integrated Autism services, was welcomed by Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths.

The first annual report on the delivery of the Autistic Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan has now been published, setting out what has been achieved so far.

Achievements include the establishment of a National Integrated Autism service, focused on creating consistent support for autistic people.  The service is in the process of being rolled out across the country and is launching in North Wales this week.

Waiting times for assessment have improved.  Since 2015, the Welsh Government has invested an additional £2m a year in children’s neurodevelopment services and, in November 2017, a 26-week waiting time target from referral to first assessment appointment was introduced and is currently being piloted.

The Plan is also helping raise awareness of the condition by extending the Learning with Autism programme.  This scheme is specifically aimed at primary and secondary schools, helping generate a greater understanding of autism within local communities across the country.

Lesley Griffiths AM said: “The Welsh Government has long demonstrated its commitment to supporting people with autism, as well as their families.”

“In 2008, Wales became the first country in the world to introduce a national autism strategy and the refreshed Strategic Action Plan is introducing a series of comprehensive measures helping ensure people receive high-quality support, wherever they live in Wales.”

“This first report highlights the progress being made.  New integrated policies and initiatives are being implemented improving autism services nationwide.”