The ASD Strategic Action Plan for
Wales – Aberystwyth Update
Hugh Morgan
ASD Implementation Manager for Wales
Welsh Assembly Government
ASD Policy Development in the UK
nations : State of Play
• Northern Ireland : NI Assembly ASD Strategic Action
introduced in late 2008. All-age covers Health & Social Services
but not Education. £2m over 3yrs to support implementation
• England : Adults Autism Act 2009 and Adults Autism Strategy
2010. £500k to support implementation
• Scotland : No legislation or strategy as yet produced by
Scottish Parliament
• Wales : Welsh Assembly Government’s ASD Strategic Action
Plan April 2008. All-age. £7.1m ring-fenced to support
implementation to date
Impact - Headlines
• Significant ring-fenced funding now going into autism
• Staffing infrastructure for autism within the statutory sector at local,
regional and national levels
• Extensive stakeholder engagement with families in local and national
asd planning
• 22 brand new local asd projects crossing two or more authorities
• A range of research initiatives including a Chair in Autism and Wales
Autism Research Centre
• Major developments underway for adults including an All-Wales approach
to diagnosis, employment and community support
• Range of awareness-raising materials to be launched shortly
• WAG evaluation of impact to date about to commence
Achievements during the first 18
– 1. Development of an ASD Infrastructure for Wales which covers
personnel, planning and stakeholder involvement
• 22 Local ASD leads identified throughout Wales
22 Local ASD stakeholder groups formed
22 Local ASD action plans submitted to WAG
3 Regional Support Officers appointed
Completion by each authority of a baseline questionnaire and
each to submit these to WAG which were then analysed
• A national stakeholder group coordinated by WAG
Achievements cont’d
2. ASD Research capability increased :
• WAG Commissioned Bangor and Glamorgan Universities to
research the needs of older people with ASD. Submitted
10/2009 to WAG
• WAG contributed to the establishment of the Chair in Autism and Welsh Autism
Research Centre (WARC)
• 2010. WAG have commissioned WARC to evaluate children’s ASD assessment and
diagnostic services throughout Wales
• 2010/11. WAG have commissioned BCUHB & WARC to develop a database for
autism for North Wales (Pilot for whole of Wales)
3. Considerable strengthening of the Welsh ASD Strategy in relation
Adults with Autism
4. Projects underway : Awarenessraising materials
4. Awareness-raising materials : currently being developed by WAG for
around 50 practitioners groups
GPs and Primary Healthcare workers,
Primary, Secondary, Further and Higher Education
Family Support Practitioners
Older persons care services
High street outlets (opticians, dentists, chiropodists)
Residential and Day Care Services
Launch of these materials by Ministers in October 2010
5. Projects Underway cont’d
• 22 new ASD projects starting in 2010 across Wales arising
from local and regional asd planning and funded by WAG.
Each viewed as a pilot project to inform future development
of the ASD strategy in Wales. For example:
• Short-term care resource and drop-in centre in Mid & West Wales
• Monitored social networking sites for individuals with ASD and also for
families in Mid & West Wales
• Detailed investigation of the circumstance sand needs of adults with
AS living across North Wales
• Play/social communication club for children with ASD in North Wales
• Emergency Attention Card Scheme throughout South East Wales
• Post-diagnostic support pack for families living in South East Wales
6. Developing a dedicated Research
Capacity for Autism in Wales
• A clear need to underpin a government autism strategy
with a coherent research strategy and evidence base
• An increasing role for research to influence and impact
upon the government policy in asd
• Investment into autism research in Wales essential
• Leadership and innovation to spearhead this process
• April 2009 : Professor Sue Leekam takes up post as Chair
in Autism, School of Psychology, Cardiff University
• Research Studentships/Research Fellow/Associates
• April 2010 : Wales Autism Research Centre (WARC)
commences operation
• 23rd September 2010 : Formal launch of WARC and
Inaugural lecture to celebrate the Chair in Autism
Objectives of the WARC
• Mission
• to create positive change for individuals and families affected with
autism by:
- advancing scientific research in areas of risk factors, early identification,
diagnosis, cognitive development and intervention
- working in partnership with practitioners, charities and the Welsh
Assembly Government to integrate scientific evidence with policy and
• Objectives
to conduct internationally competitive scientific research projects
to facilitate Inter-disciplinary research and research networks
to develop research and training that supports and influences practice
and policy
to improve public and professional awareness of research
Professor Sue Leekam
Chair in Autism
The Wales Autism Research Centre
School of Psychology
Cardiff University
CF10 3XQ
Email [email protected];
7. Communication
From spring 2010 Newsletters 3 types :
ASD Leads newsletter
Bulletins for national and local politicians
Public newsletter – for the aider autism community
Websites :
“Connections” – site for ASD leads and Regional Support
WAG “ASD Matters” public website being launched during
the autumn 2010
2010 Strengthening the Agenda for
Adults with ASD
Task and Finish Group – reporting directly to our
 Recommendations all agreed Minister
£1.7m additional funding committed by WAG to
implement the actions arising in the following :
Diagnosis and post-diagnostic counselling
Access to Services
Regionally coordinated community & monitoring support
Future work
Where are we now :
1. Assessment & Diagnosis
•To create a consistent All-Wales approach to adult
diagnosis through the development a clinical network
•To establish a post-diagnostic counselling service
•To evaluate progress made after the first two years and
report back the Minister
•£752k allocated from 2010-2013
2. Community and Monitoring Support
•Development of regionally coordinated communitymonitoring schemes for adults (esp for those with AS)
•Proposals currently being received by WAG prepared by
the 3 ASD Regional Support Officers
•WAG have allocated £720k from 2010-13
Employment & Related Areas
• Autism Employment Ambassador for Wales to be
• Training to be provided to :
Job CentrePlus
Careers Wales
Disability Employment Advisors
• WAG – to be an autism-friendly employer
• WAG are committing £170k 2010-12
Older Persons with ASD Research
• “The circumstances and support needs of older people with
• Commissioned by WAG – a collaborative project undertaken by
Bangor and Glamorgan Universities and administered by Autism
• First research study on this subject anywhere
• Series of recommendations arising
• Research completed and submitted to the Minister in October
• WAG hosting a 2 day adults with autism conference on
10/11 June. Day Two devoted to older people with
• Prof Sue Leekam asked by Ministers to look at the
recommendations made in the research report, draw
together LDAN/OPAN etc and make proposals to the
• National Service Framework for Older Persons to be
shaped to reflect the needs of older people with
ASD Adults Task & Finish Group
Reconvenes May 2010
• Key Tasks :
Further/Higher Education
Mental Health
Criminal Justice System
Older Person Research
Impact of DWP welfare reforms upon adults with ASD
in Wales
• We will be evaluating the impact of the ASD
Strategic Action to date during the early
• This will involved all Local ASD leads; Local
Stakeholder groups, national stakeholder
group, vols orgs etc
• Further details will issued shortly
Thanks for listening!
[email protected]

The ASD Strategic Action Plan for Wales - Update