Government release Strategy for Autistic Children, Young People and Adults: 2021 to 2026

The Autism Act 2009

In 2009 the Government passed the Autism Act. The aim of this act was to improve “services for autistic adults, underpinned by legally binding guidance to councils.”
National Autistic society

This was due to be reviewed every 5 years to make sure the priorities were being met and so that the guidance can be updated.

The Autism Act was put together by Dame Cheryl Gillian and Autistic charities and communities from across the UK.

2021 marks another review of this Act and with it the Governments priorities for the next 5 years.

The national strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 to 2026

To read the startgey at full you can click the buttons below:


The 6 Priority Areas

Below are the 6 priority areas that the 2021-2026 Autism Startegy focus on:

1. Improving understanding and acceptance of autism within society

The Goverment will significantly improve the public’s understanding and acceptance of autism, and show that autistic people feel more included and accepted in their communities. The Goverment also want the public to understand how autism can affect people differently, including the difference in how autistic women and girls present, and to help change people’s behaviour towards autistic people and their families. They want many more businesses, public sector services and different parts of the transport system to become more autism-inclusive, so that autistic people can access these spaces and services, just like everyone else.

2.Improving autistic children and young people’s access to education and supporting positive transitions into adulthood

The Goverment want the SEND system to enable autistic children and young people to access the right support, within and outside of school. We want schools to provide better support to autistic children and young people, so they are able to reach their potential, and to show that fewer autistic children are permanently excluded or suspended from school due to their behaviour. They will make improvements to the support autistic people get in their transitions into adulthood, so that more autistic people can live well in their own communities, find work or higher education or other opportunities. This is important in preventing more young people from avoidably reaching crisis point or being admitted into inpatient mental health services.

3. Supporting more autistic people into employment

The Goverment will make progress on closing the employment gap for autistic people, ensuring that more people who are able and want to work can do so and that those who have found a job are less likely to fall out of work. They want more employers to be confident in hiring and supporting autistic people, and to improve autistic people’s experiences of being in work.

4. Tackling health and care inequalities for autistic people

The Goverment want to reduce the health and care inequalities that autistic people face throughout their lives, and to show that autistic people are living healthier and longer lives. In addition, they want to have made significant progress on improving early identification, reducing diagnosis waiting times and improving diagnostic pathways for children and adults, so autistic people can access a timely diagnosis and the support they may need across their lives.

5. Building the right support in the community and supporting people in inpatient care

The Goverment will achieve the targets set out in the NHS Long Term Plan to reduce the number of autistic people and people with a learning disability being admitted into inpatient mental health services. They will do so by improving the treatment of autistic people in mental health legislation to prevent people from being avoidably admitted to inpatient care and improving the provision of community mental health and crisis support. The Goverment will also improve the suitability and availability of housing support and social care. In addition, for people who do need to be in inpatient mental health settings, the quality of care will be better and more tailored to their individual needs and people will be discharged back into their communities as soon as they are well enough to leave.

6. Improving support within the criminal and youth justice systems

The Goverment will build a clearer understanding of how autistic people come into contact with the criminal and youth justice systems, and the type of support they may need across court, prison and under probation supervision. They will improve the police and wider criminal and youth justice system staff’s understanding of autism so that autistic people are more able to receive the right support, adjusted to their needs, as well as ensuring that different parts of the justice system – from prisons to courts – become more autism-inclusive.

In order to achieve this an Implentation plan has been drawn up, you can see this by clicking the button below

Our thoughts

Wer have come along way since The Autism Act of 2009 espically here in Norfolk. We have one of the most sucessful All Age Autism Partnership boards with input from multiply Autistic people and their family/carers as well as a wide ranging of professional from Health Local Autority and voluntary (charity) sector.

While the past ten years have seen great strides int he supprot offered to Autistic People of all ages there is unfortunatly more that needs to happen. Espically in Norfolk we are faced with :

  • Long diagnosis waiting lists from both Adutls and Children, sometimes up to 3/4 years
  • Struggiling educational provision with a high percentage of Autistic children not in a placement or not in a suitable placement, and even more not recieve the help and support they need at our main stream provisions
  • A high number of unemployed Austistic Adults
  • Parents and Carers who struggle to support the SEN Childrend and disabled family memebers both financially and emotionally due to lack of support and services

We will keep on working and championing the rights of  not only Autistic people but their families and carers. We welcome the Autism Strategy for 2021-2026 but the work isn’t and is far from over yet.

What are yout thorughts on The national strategy for autistic  children, young people and adults:  2021 to 2026? Do yout think the priorities are correct has something been missed that you think needs action now ?  Let us know!