New autism strategy launched at autism conference

6 Feb 2013 @ 11.53 am
| News

Issued by City of York Council

City of York Council will launch its new Autism Strategy for children and young people with an ambition to make York an autism-friendly city, at the council’s first autism conference.

The York Autism Strategy for children and young people will outline what the council is planning over the next three years and how this will help to make a difference to families affected by autism. It also outlines existing services that children and young people with autism can access.

The strategy includes developing single Education, Health and Care plans for children and young people with autism (0-25 years), reducing the waiting time for assessment and increasing the use of direct payments and personal budgets.

The strategy also aims to increase training for staff, use more creative ways to support communication and increase the number of parent groups and sibling groups. There are also plans to run new summer schools and open a second specialist youth club better placed to meet the needs of young people with autism.

The conference will be held at Askham Bryan College and the key-note speech will be by Professor Rita Jordan, whose OBE was awarded for services to special educational needs. Also, Kate Calvert, a secondary school pupil from York, will give a young person’s insight into what it is like to live with autism. Some local parents of children with autism will also be speaking about the challenges they have faced and overcome.

Cllr Janet Looker, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Young People said: “Through this new strategy, we want to be able to help make life easier for parents, carers and families by making our support and services more effective.

By working closely with residents we hope to improve life for them, their child or young person with autism, and to give them confidence in the education and care we provide.

“We hope these changes will also help children and young people develop, be more confident and have increased independence which will help them as they prepare them for work or for life after school or college and as they form new friendships and feel less isolated.”

Professor Rita Jordan said: “The York Autism Conference celebrates the launch of the York Autism Strategy for children and young people and the hope it brings for better services for children with autism spectrum disorders and their families.

“My talk looks at what we know about the unique needs of these children and what is effective in meeting those needs in terms of clinical and educational approaches.”

The conference will take place at the Askham Bryan College conference hall on Wednesday 13 February from 8:30am until 12:30pm. The autism strategy for adults is also at an advanced stage of development and will be launched later in the year.

To book a place at the conference, please email [email protected] or call 01904 553017.

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