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East Sussex parents influence autism services with new report

The parent-led autism support group iContact has published a detailed report, The East Sussex Autism Survey, sharing the experiences of families of autistic children. Already the findings have led to positive collaboration between the parent-led group and East Sussex County Council to effect change.

The report presents responses from 100 parents of autistic children across the county. Key problems raised included:

  • long waits for diagnosis, often of several years;
  • patchy support provision in schools, with some very poor experiences;
  • little or no support in some of the greatest areas of need: social, emotional and general life skills.

The findings reflect poor experiences throughout the UK, where 17% of autistic children have been suspended from school, only 15% of autistic adults are in full-time paid employment and where there are high rates of suicide.

The report sets out clear recommendations. In a spirit of collaboration, iContact shared an early draft with East Sussex County Council. Their response is included in the Appendix and includes information about plans for new initiatives and a commitment to work with families to continue to improve provision.

Download the report and conclusions here