A new strategy has been published today that hopes to improve the lives of the estimated 12,300 people including children and young people living in Surrey with autism. Surrey’s All-Age Autism (AAA) Strategy 2021-26 will help break down barriers and inequalities that autistic children, young people and adults face in education, health, social care, work and communities.
The AAA strategy was developed after a public consultation in 2020 and created with autistic people, their families and carers and professionals from across Surrey’s service system. Together they have set out an autism friendly vision for Surrey, enabling autistic people including children and young people to lead healthy, safe and fulfilling lives. The strategy will be delivered with committed partners to help improve understanding of autism across public services and communities, as well as allowing for better joined-up public services. The full strategy can be read here. Access an easy read version here.
Clare Curran, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said “Delivery of the All-Age Autism strategy through committed partnership over the next five years will improve the lives of Surrey’s autistic children and young people by giving them better and more equal access to the public services they need to lead healthy, safe and fulfilling lives.”
Sinead Mooney, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health said: “Ensuring no-one is left behind is a priority for Surrey County Council. The All-Age Autism Strategy has set the ambition that autistic residents whatever their age, will have an equality of access and their needs better understood across education, care and health services in Surrey.”
Denise Turner-Stewart, Cabinet Member for Education and Learning said: “The All-Age Autism strategy will help to inform and improve understanding of autism across Surrey. Working with our partners in health and education, we are committed to increasing local opportunities for autistic children and young people, enabling them to meet their future ambitions.”
To help raise awareness of the strategy, a supporting video has been launched with the strategy featuring autistic people and parents of autistic children. Those being interviewed share their experiences of living with autism in Surrey, how they were involved in strategy development and their hopes for the future.
The AAA strategy supports the Department of Health and Social care Autism Strategy. It will be delivered over the next five years with partners through the following workstreams:
- Information, Understanding and Awareness of Autism
- Education and Preparing for Adulthood
- Health & Social Care
A public consultation was run in 2020 asking Surrey residents the best way Education, Care and Health services can support those living Autism. There were 1,165 resident responses of these:
-109 were from autistic people
-765 family members, carers or partners of autistic people
-237 professionals and
– 63 others