Councillors discuss how to meet needs of autistic people and their families in Calderdale

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Work is being done to make sure needs of autistic people in Calderdale are being met by services for them, says a senior councillor.

At the last meeting of the full Calderdale Council a member of the public wanted to know when services would be fully accessible to people with autism and other neurodiverse needs.

Simon Smith also asked: “What has happened to the Calderdale Autism Strategy meetings?”

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Cabinet member for Adults Services and Wellbeing, Coun Josh Fenton-Glynn, responded that the strategy meetings would begin again from May.

Coun Josh Fenton-GlynnCoun Josh Fenton-Glynn
Coun Josh Fenton-Glynn

Coun Fenton-Glynn (Lab, Calder) said people who have a diagnosis of autism and neurodiversity have a wide range of needs.

“While social care providers support many individuals and their families, this doesn’t always meet the needs of everyone that has a diagnosis and each person has very individual needs,” he said.

Because of this the newly-formed Integrated Commissioning Boards – these have replaced, among other things, clinical commissioning groups which used to secure services – and local authorities have commissioned independent charities Centre for Mental Health and Rethink to engage with people who had lived experience and service stakeholders to ensure they are doing the best they can, said Coun Fenton-Glynn.

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West Yorkshire’s own Integrated Care Board was also doing work into neurodiversity, he said.

The Autism Act requires local areas to have an Autism Partnership Board or strategy group to oversee local and national autism strategies and statutory guidance.

Membership includes adults with autism, parents and carers of children with autism and staff from statutory agencies, voluntary groups and service providers.