Carers of adults with autism will soon be given extra support by West Sussex County Council (WSCC).
From Monday (April 1) West Sussex Carers Support Services will provide dedicated support for carers and family members of people aged over 16 with autism.
This will include training events and workshops, peer support groups and time-focused one-to-one support.
The Government’s vision is ‘that all adults with autism are able to live fulfilling and rewarding lives within a society that accepts and understands them’.
It is estimated that there are approximately 7,000 adults with autism in West Sussex.
Katie Glover, WSCC’s head of commissioning for mental health and learning disabilities, said: “The new service is just one aspect of the support we are currently developing.
“There have been gaps in provision in the past and we hope that with these new support measures that adults with autism may find navigating around society in West Sussex that bit easier.”
WSCC already offers grants to self-advocacy groups to help members speak up for themselves and to influence the services available.
Audrey Neate, support worker at Carers Support West Sussex, said: “Families who look after someone with autism face many challenges. Children with autism can usually be supported within the dynamics and structure of the family and with the help and support of the educational environment.
“However, once the person with autism leaves full-time education and wants and/or needs to be independent in life, this is when families often face new and unexpected challenges. Often people with autism experience difficulty with communication, social interaction and gaining and retaining employment.”
If you are looking after someone with autism and would like more information about what support is available please contact Carers Support West Sussex.
www.carerssupport.org.uk or telephone 01293 657040