‘New and improved integrated services for adults and children with autism makes crucial difference’ says Cynon AM

A new waiting time target and an improved diagnostic pathway, as well as a better integrated service for adults and children with autism was announced by Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health.

The 26-week waiting time target from referral to first appointment for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions is a key element of the Welsh Government’s refreshed Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Strategic Action Plan.

The key actions in the plan will be delivered through a new all-age national integrated autism service, which is being rolled out across Wales. Backed by £6m of Welsh Government investment over three years, this innovative service will address gaps in support identified by people with autism, their families and carers.

The Autistic Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan also outlines actions to:

• Transform the education support for children and young people with ASD – an Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal (Wales) Bill is expected to be introduced next month; and

• Improve employment opportunities for people with autism

Vikki Howells AM said:-

“I welcome the announcement from the Welsh Government and share the view that we must do all that we can to ensure people with autism and their families can take on the challenges they face on a daily basis.

“It is important that we continue and always seek to improve and better our knowledge on how we can make our society inclusive to adults and children who are affected by autism.

“The refreshed Autistic Spectrum Disorder Strategic Action Plan responds to the priorities identified by people affected by autism. It also ensures that our public services work together to deliver sound and quality services, as well as raise the awareness of autism. 

“This should not be considered a job done, as more progress is needed to create an autism friendly society, and I look forward to working with the Welsh Government to achieve this.”