Recently, the Welsh Government published its strengthened ASD Strategic Action Plan. The Plan underpins the Welsh Government’s commitment to supporting children, young people and adults with ASD throughout their lives. It is important that people with autism and their families have access to the right support when they need it and the updated Plan has been shaped by the views and the priorities of people with autism, their families and carers and the ASD Stakeholder Advisory Group. There is a clear focus on raising awareness of autism and ensuring that public services work together to deliver effective care and support services.
Eight years ago, Wales launched its ASD Strategic Action Plan, the first of its kind in the UK. Since then there has been significant progress made and more than £12m has been made available to support its implementation.
Within the Plan, timely access to assessment and diagnosis, meeting people’s support needs and addressing and identifying gaps in information are three main areas of focus. The roll-out of a new National Integrated Autism Service is already underway and this service will see new specialist teams in every region, providing adult diagnostic services. It will be backed by £6m of Welsh Government investment over 3 years. An advisory group to monitor progress and delivery of the plan will be established next year.
This revised strategy together with changes already underway through the Social Services and Wellbeing Act will greatly improve the support available to people affected by autism.