Last week, Annie Sands, Welfare Rights Manager for Autism Anglia joined Robert Buckland MP for South Swindon, Lord Chancellor & Secretary of State for Justice at a Neurodiversity Round Table (virtual) event.  

The points discussed included:

  • Programmes and interventions which have been specifically designed or adapted for neurodiverse needs.
  • Training and support available to staff to help them support service users with neurodiverse needs.
  • Lessons learned and obstacles encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Representing Autism Anglia, Annie also raised the following points:

  • Autistic people have difficulties with social communication and as a result, even if they can identify some of the difficulties they experience, they may find it difficult to put this into words. They may have difficulties with either expressive language, receptive language, or both. Some autistic people are not able to use verbal language at all or only in very limited ways.
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Policy makes little reference to Autism. It has some awareness but not embedded in policy and procedure.
  • BAME autistic people are less likely to be diagnosed and as such, the way autism presents can be perceived differently
  • Hidden need caused by a lack of information sharing, resulting in the autistic person/carer having to repeat themselves
  • There is no judicial mediation for Autistic people.
  • Highlighting the use of the Autism Anglia passport and its benefits.

Annie has children on the Autism spectrum and is passionate about campaigning for change on behalf of Autism Anglia to ensure autistic people are represented, understood and treated fairly.

Annie understands the barriers that autistic people can face on a daily basis and works to help bring down those barriers. Frequently meeting with Government Ministers, Councillors and MPs to drive change.

For more information on how you can access the Autism Passport click here.