Summary of report content
Following feedback from autistic people and their families/carers, Healthwatch Greenwich conducted a study into autistic spectrum condition (ASC) specialist services for children and young people. Following the initial report, Healthwatch Greenwich expanded the scope of this research to include specialist services for autistic adults as well as children. They spoke to 65 people.
Through an online survey, focus groups and one on one interviews, Healthwatch identified six major themes about ASC services. People experienced long waiting times for assessment and diagnosis. There were varying experiences of service quality across the borough. There was a lack of communication and information sharing among different health, social care and educational services and the professionals in these services didn’t accept and understand ASC experiences. People found it difficult to locate and access support services without an official diagnosis. Young people experienced difficulties in transitioning to adult services.
The report includes 6 recommendations about access to support services, information, awareness training, information sharing and the need for oversight of school special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs).