Commissioners of autism services

Enabling effective access to social care for people with autism involves an in-depth knowledge of what an individual needs. It is therefore difficult to set out in detail what commissioners should do for everyone with autism, but enough is known about what generally makes services accessible to people with autism to give some pointers.

Commissioners should try to ensure that:[44]

In addition, commissioners should:

One approach is to provide services in a local or regional centre of excellence,[45, 46] a ‘one-stop shop’ for people with autism,[36] offering:

These services may be provided through local or regional social enterprises or third-sector organisations.

The provision of good quality housing underpins many of the other things that people with autism need to enjoy a good quality of life. Again, each person with autism will have highly individualised needs, so commissioners should provide flexible options:

With specialist provision, regional cooperation may be needed. More locally, the focus should be on ensuring that mainstream services adapt to people with autism, including those with behaviour that challenges services, rather than excluding and marginalising them.[46, 47]

People looking to provide services to black and minority ethnic people with autism, or people with autism from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, will need to ensure that services can meet all the needs of the people they support.[19]