Sunday, February 24, 2008

Autism Crisis In Scotland - Invisible Autistic Adults

In Scotland Lacks Autism Services I commented on an article on healthcarerepublic on July 6, 2007 and the lack of services for people with autism in Scotland. That article, Call to find autism early in Scotland, focused on guidelines published by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) calling on doctors to look for signs of autism in children and adolescents, including problems with social interaction and play, speech and behaviours. The article also expressed the doubt of many professionals in Scotland that early diagnosis would make much difference because of the lack of autism services available in Scotland.

In Revealed: ‘invisible’ adults living with autism, the Sunday Herald today reports, on an impending report by the National Autistic Society, the lack of services for autistic adults in Scotland, their dependency on family members for support and the isolation in which many spend their lives:

"Issues in the report include limited access to diagnosis, with 56% of those surveyed saying they found it hard to get their condition recognised. One adult said: "The GP did nothing. She didn't see any point in diagnosis for an adult."

But even after diagnosis many say they do not get the support they need. One participant in the survey commented: "I have had little or no support ever - my mother has done everything."


Bill Welsh, president of the Edinburgh-based Autism Treatment Trust, said the plight of many adults with autism had been "swept under the carpet", yet one child in 100 in the UK was diagnosed with the condition and the cost to society for each autistic child was estimated at £4 million. He added: "A major social, health and financial problem is upon us and urgent action is required."

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