Saturday, August 26, 2006

Lord Clement-Jones raises autism issues

You can see what he had to say about Autism during the debate on Autism in the House of Lords here. Much of what he had to say makes sense. The numbers of cases of Autism have soared in recent years. Whether this is because the number of people with Autism has soared or whether it is because the diagnosis has improved or a combination of the two is difficult to say.

What is clear is that resources are needed to help people with Autism and other Learning Disabilities and their families and carers. Without that money it is difficult for those with such difficulties to lead a fulfilled life and in many cases it proves impossible for the family to keep the child at home leaving the state to pick up an even larger bill eventually.

What is less clear is whether or not pots of money for people with specific difficulties such as Autism should be ring fenced in the way in which Lord Clement-Jones suggests. If resources for those with Autism are to be ring fenced then what about those with Williams Syndrome, Fragile X, Downs or Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (considered to be the largest single cause of Learning Disability). This would lead us to a world where different departments and budgets would be desperately being spent to ensure that the budget was retained whilst generic services would probably suffer as a result and some who need a service would fail to receive it because it had already been spent on someone who needed it less but was covered by a ring fenced pot.

1 comment:

Nicola said...

I am glad the issues are being rasied and discussed. They need to be. Those on the autistic spectrum need to have champions who stand up for their rights.

I too am not sure aout the ring fencing - what happens when people cross two of the *spectrums* which quite often happens - say when physical and mental disorders are present?