The 15 priority challenges
The priority challenges are taken directly from ‘Think autism’, and used to frame the statutory guidance issued in 2015 for practitioners in England and Wales.
An equal part of my local community
- I want to be accepted as who I am within my local community. I want people and organisations in my community to have opportunities to raise their awareness and acceptance of autism.
- I want my views and aspirations to be taken into account when decisions are made in my local area. I want to know whether my local area is doing as well as others.
- I want to know how to connect with other people. I want to be able to find local autism peer groups, family groups and low-level support.
- I want the everyday services that I come into contact with to know how to make reasonable adjustments to include me and accept me as I am. I want the staff who work in them to be aware and accepting of autism.
- I want to be safe in my community and free from the risk of discrimination, hate crime and abuse.
- I want to be seen as me and for my gender, sexual orientation and race to be taken into account.
The right support at the right time during my lifetime
- I want a timely diagnosis from a trained professional. I want relevant information and support throughout the diagnostic process.
- I want autism to be included in local strategic needs assessments so that person-centred local health, care and support services, based on good information about local needs, are available for people with autism.
- I want staff in health and social care services to understand that I have autism and how this affects me.
- I want to know that my family can get help and support when they need it.
- I want services and commissioners to understand how my autism affects me differently through my life. I want to be supported through big life changes such as transition from school, getting older or when a person close to me dies.
- I want people to recognise my autism and adapt the support they give me if I have additional needs such as a mental health problem, a learning disability or if I sometimes communicate through behaviours which others may find challenging.
- If I break the law, I want the criminal justice system to think about autism and to know how to work well with other services.
Developing my skills and independence and working to the best of my ability
- I want the same opportunities as everyone else to enhance my skills, to be empowered by services and to be as independent as possible.
- I want support to get a job and support from my employer to help me keep it.