At the Wrexham Branch of the National Autistic Society we like to get involved in all campaigns that affect our area. The Act Now. An Autism Act for Wales campaign is very important to us, as it will affect the diagnosis of ASD in Wrexham and the services that will be provided in our county for our local members in the future.
In 2008, the Welsh Government made a landmark first step to improving services and support for people with autism in Wales, by introducing an autism strategy. The strategy was the first of its kind in the UK, putting Wales ahead of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.
Central to its implementation was a ring-fenced fund set up specifically to pay for autism projects and support. The Government has decided to change this from April 2015 and, instead, the money will go into a general pot.
Why an Autism Act?
While the publication of the strategy was groundbreaking in ensuring the needs of people with autism were put on the agenda in every local council, we know that implementation has been patchy. New duties are now needed to make sure that every council is taking the right steps to give children and adults in Wales the care and support they deserve.
When the strategy started in 2008 the National Assembly for Wales didn’t have the power to make laws. It can now.
You – our branches, members and supporters - have contacted us with your concerns and told us that they no longer feel autism is important for Government. The Act now campaign is your chance to make your voice heard so that autism is, once again, a priority in Wales.
The 2008 strategy was a good start. But an Autism Act for Wales would be legally binding, and help transform the support that people with autism, their parents, family, carers and friends need to live the life they choose.
To support our campaign please sign our online petition here.