Support for people with autism
Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. Some people with autism may also have a learning disability, this can make autism harder to recognise and therefore understand.
Autism in Bexley
As a result of the Autism Act 2009, ‘Think Autism: Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives’, the strategy for adults with autism in England, was published by the government in March 2010 and updated in 2014. In response, the council has developed an Autism Strategy and action plan which is delivered by the Autism Partnership Board.
A number of organisations sit on the Board including the Council, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group and voluntary sector partners.
In addition, the London Borough of Bexley submits an Autism Self-Assessment which helps to demonstrate our local progress against the national Autism Strategy. Results are published by Public Health England.
Autism support services
There are a number of services available to support people with autism. Some of the organisations have eligibility criteria. See Bexley’s Care Hub for further information. Bexley’s Local Offer also provides information on special educational needs and disability support for 0 to 25-year-olds.
The Council offers an autism awareness training course to all members of staff who work with the public. We also encourage all our partner organisations who may work with people with autism to ensure their staff have access to basic awareness training.
The Department of Health and Social Care have published a series of online training resources and booklets to increase awareness, and understanding of autism across all public services, including specialist training for health and social care staff.
The British Psychological Society has developed a general adult autism awareness online course which is available to all and will help staff find the answer to the key question "what is autism?", and also discover what it is like to have autism, how people with autism see the world, and how you can support someone with autism. You will need a valid email address to register but the course is free of charge and can be downloaded to any computer for completion.