Britain is largely ill equipped to deal with its population of adults with autism, a government report finds.
Many of Britain’s 400,000 adults with autism require specialized support. Yet eight out of 10 doctors in the country admit they need more training to effectively identify or treat autism.
Most local governments and health agencies do not keep data on the number of adults with autism within their jurisdictions. And few areas have commissions tasked with helping this population.
Hardest hit are the roughly 200,000 adults who have high functioning autism. That’s because most of the country’s services cater specifically to people with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities or mental illness, leaving many adults with autism ineligible for services they need.
Nearly two thirds of government and health officials surveyed said that services are “limited.” In particular, a lack of transition services and employment supports are significant challenges for high functioning individuals, the report finds.
“Greater awareness of the numbers of people with autism, as well as better understanding of autism amongst those providing health, social care, benefits, education and employment services, would lead to improved quality of life for those on the autistic spectrum,” says Tim Burr, who oversaw creation of the report while head of Britain’s National Audit Office.
The full report can be found by clicking here.