Cornwall Children's Autism Partnership
A Children and Young People’s Cornwall Autism Partnership has been established to oversee the implementation of the new Children’s and Young People’s Autism Strategy 2016-2019. The partnership aims to develop better support for children with autism in Cornwall.
Its vision is that Cornwall is a county committed to supporting children and young people with autistic spectrum conditions to achieve positive outcomes.
Children, young people and their families will be able to access services which meet their needs. Families will feel supported through the diagnostic pathway and will receive advice and signposting about the services which are available to them.
It meets quarterly and includes representatives from:
- Cornwall Council
- NHS provider services and commissioners
- Voluntary sector including The National Autistic Society
The Children’s and Young People’s Autism Strategy 2016-2019
The Children’s and Young People’s Autism Strategy 2016-2019 was written following wide-spread consultation with parents/carers, young people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and professionals.
There are four key priority areas:
- Early Help and Social Care
- Leisure and Community
Below provides an update on work against the strategy priorities (May 2017):
- The Early Years Inclusion Service are piloting a programme similar to the Autism Champions in schools with the aim of building capacity within Early Years settings to meet the needs of children with Autism
- Since the strategy was finalised the Autism Spectrum Team (AST) has created packages for Primary and Secondary schools to use within assemblies or tutor time in order to raise the awareness of ASC amongst peers. This has been successfully trialled and the AST plan to share it more widely in the near future.
- The AST have also produced a Best Practice film for use with schools in Cornwall. This film will be used in schools during training and offered as part of a package alongside an audit tool.
- All secondary schools in Cornwall except one now have an Autism Champion (AC) and 80+ primary schools have an AC.
- Work is being undertaken with post 16 colleges in Cornwall with young people who are on the autism spectrum in order to ascertain where they feel the gaps in provision are in the colleges. It has been noted that life skills are not/or are rarely offered to those who undertake A Levels or Diplomas due to the assumption that they already hold life skills and work is being planned to address this gap
- The Lead for the Autism Diagnosis pathway is consulting with parents and carers of young people with ASC about where they are accessing information (e.g. on diagnosis, support etc). The information gathered will be used to help determine the information that will be added about Autism Spectrum Conditions to the Family Information Service website.
- A document that has been created by the ASD Assessment Team in Cornwall Foundation Trust for parents and carers about how to best explain to their child why they are being assessed and what the ASDAT assessment process is. It is given to parents when they are accepted on to the ASD assessment pathway.
- Health, Education and Social Care are jointly planning training for staff on ASC and Anxiety which will be running in June.
Early Help and Social Care
- Supporting Change In Partnership (SCIP) which is part of the Disabled Children and Therapy Service has been supporting a number of families with a child with an ASC.
- Dreadnought will continue to be funded to provide Aspires groups for children with young people with ASC
- Funding had been identified in order for Action For Children and Youth Workers to jointly receive training to raise their awareness of the needs of children with ASC
- Staff within the Disabled Children and Therapy Service (DCTS) have received raining on Sensory Integration needs of children with an ASC
Leisure and Community
- A website portal is now up and running which gives information about the sports and leisure opportunities open to children and young people with an ASC
- During May 2017 a number of leisure providers will receive training about children and young people with ASC. There will also be online training available for those that cannot attend in person.