Over the last year, as part of Lambeth’s Think Autism Strategy, the council has focused on autism and has had positive feedback from professionals and families.

We're keen to increase awareness and understanding of autism across all public services. Our aim is to improve access to help and support to enable those with autism to live independent and fulfilling lives.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Autistic people can see, hear and feel the world differently to other people. If you're autistic, you are autistic for life. Autism is not an illness or disease and cannot be 'cured'. Often people feel being autistic is a fundamental aspect of their identity.

Autism is a spectrum condition, which means there are varying degrees of how an individual is affected. All autistic people share certain difficulties, although no two people with autism will have the same experience. Some autistic people also have learning disabilities, mental health issues or other conditions, meaning they will need different levels of support. All people on the autism spectrum have the ability to learn and develop and should be supported to live a life which is best for them. We want to ensure all our residents and our workforce, especially those with customer facing roles, are aware of autism and understand some of the social challenges those with autism face in their day to day lives.

Lambeth’s Think Autism Strategy

Lambeth has implemented the government’s Think Autism Strategy. The Strategy was launched in 2014, with the aim of improving the lives of adults with autism by:

  • making sure that more people understand autism
  • making it easier for adults to get a diagnosis of autism - a diagnosis is when a doctor tells someone that they have autism
  • making it easier for adults with autism to choose how they live and get the help that they need to do this
  • helping adults with autism to find jobs
  • helping local councils and health services to write plans so that the adults with autism who live in their area get the help that they need.

Autism self-assessment strategy

As part of the Governement's Think Autism Strategy, local authorities have been asked to complete an autism self-assessment framework by collating local responses from organisations, autistic people and their families. The Autism Self-Assessment Framework (SAF) is a national exercise which assesses the progress being made in implementing the Think Autism Strategy.

In response, we completed our SAF and will be working to improve access to services for autistic people in partnership with them, as well our colleagues across social care and health, housing, education and justice and the voluntary and community sectors.

Autism Action Forum - developing an autistic friendly borough

The Forum is open to all people on the autistic spectrum, their carers and professionals. The aim of the forum is to ensure Lambeth is an autistic friendly community. Those on the autistic spectrum, or their carers, are welcome to take part in the forum as little or as much as they please

Lambeth held its first Autism Action Forum on 15 October 2018 at Lambeth Town Hall. The event was well attended by several of our partners including Lambeth College, Southside Partnership, Mencap, Orchard Hill College, Disability Sports Coach and Share Community.

There will be four forums held per year and members will be looking at themes such as diagnostics and referrals, transitioning from childhood to adulthood, health and well-being, communication, employment and training.

In celebration of Autism Awareness Week, the council collaborated with members of the Autism Action Forum to host a community event called ‘Focus on Autism’ at Gracefield Gardens Health and Social Care Centre on Friday 5 April 2019.

The next forum will be held on Thursday 18 July 2019 at the Lambeth Civic Centre.

If you're interested in attending, please contact Malvina Edwards-Drayton at MEdwardsDrayton@lambeth.gov.uk.

Autism Social Club

We have funded an evening social club for autistic people, which will be held at Lambeth College, Clapham Centre every Monday from 6.45pm, launching on 29 April 2019. For more information, please contact Igho Wekpe at iwekpe@lambethcollege.ac.uk.

Did you know?

  1. As many as one in 100 people in the UK are thought to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum
  2. It is thought that 52 per cent of people diagnosed with autism also have a learning disability
  3. Five times as many males as females are diagnosed with autism
  4. World Autism Awareness week was 1 to 7 April 2019
  5. Asperger’s syndrome is an autistic spectrum diagnosis

Resources

To find out more about autism, or to get resources or support, please visit: