The United Kingdom government announced on Thursday a Five Year National Strategy for autistic children, young people, and adults. This is the third strategy of this kind that the government has formulated; the first two were released in 2010 and 2014, quickly following the landmark Autism Act 2009.
This new Five Year National Strategy takes into consideration the lessons learned over the years with regard to the barriers faced by people with autism on various fronts. In the recent past, the pandemic has thrown many challenges in healthcare delivery for them, baring the inequity in the system to everyone.
It has six major focal areas: improved acceptance, access to education, creating employment opportunities, tackling healthcare-related inequalities, building the support system for their care, and improving support within the criminal and youth justice systems. Funds worth £75m have been earmarked for these tasks.
In the foreword of the policy document, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care MP Sajid Javid said, “Our goal must be nothing less than making sure autistic people from all backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and ages – in all parts of the country – get the support they need to live full and happy lives.”