Local people are being invited to give feedback on a draft strategy aiming to secure better lives for autistic children and adults.
Seven priorities are set out in the strategy, including one focusing on tackling health and care inequalities and supporting people with learning disabilities who are in hospital.
Reading Borough Council says the draft strategy has been designed by autistic residents, parent carers, professionals working with autistic children and adults, local partners and statutory services.
How health and care could be better
The strategy says a range of organisations will improve care by:
- Reducing waiting times for children and young people to be assessed and diagnosed, which are currently over two years, longer than recommended 13 weeks
- Seeking resources to cut waiting times for assessment and diagnosis of adults, currently around four years, in excess of recommended 13 weeks
- Automatically refer all parents needing pre-assessment or post-diagnosis support, to a local support service, rather than just sending information about the service
- Ensuring all health and care staff receive mandatory training in learning disability and autism under a new statutory duty that has taken effect this year
- Removing barriers to regular physical health checks, to stop autistic people dying 16 years earlier than the general population
- Improving social lives through a mix of support groups, better holiday clubs, autistic-friendly cafes and shops and trained bus and taxi drivers
- Taking action to tackle the over representation of autistic young people in mental health hospital beds.
The four-year strategy also covers better training and job opportunities, housing and independent living, keeping safe and supporting families and carers of autistic people.
Have your say
The consultation runs until 18th September. Visit this webpage on the council website to read the full strategy or an Easy Read version and take part in an online survey.