Carers of people with autism aged over 16 will get more support from West Sussex County Council from next week. West Sussex County Council has commissioned West Sussex Carers Support Services to provide dedicated, targeted support for family members of people with autism. The support goes live on April 1st – the day before World Autism Awareness Day.
The Government’s vision is ‘that all adults with autism are able to live fulfilling and rewarding lives within a society that accepts and understands them’.
Estimates indicate there are about 7,000 adults with autism in West Sussex.
The County Council is stepping up support it for people with autism, including more grants to self-advocacy groups. These help members speak up for themselves and to develop a positive self-image and to influence the services available.
The council website in future will contain an area about autism and the services available and a vulnerable adults’ service.
Audrey Neate, Support Worker at Carers Support West Sussex, said: “Families who look after someone with autism face many challenges. Children with autism can usually be supported within the dynamics and structure of the family and with the help and support of the educational environment.
“However, once the person with autism leaves full-time education and wants and/or needs to be independent in life, this is when families often face new and unexpected challenges. Often people with autism experience difficulty with communication, social interaction and gaining and retaining employment.”
The new support for carers will include training events and workshops, peer support groups and time-focused one-to-one support.
If you are looking after someone with autism and would like more information about what support is available please contact Carers Support West Sussex or telephone 01293 657040.
The National Autistic Society I EXIST report states that 63% of adults with autism do not have the support they need. In addition 60% of parents say that a lack of support has led to higher support needs in the long run