Living with Autism – locally and independently

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By Laura Formby

Plans for accommodation for people with Autism are being drawn up after Islington Labour councillors met with the Mayor of Islington for World Autism Awareness Week.

Islington Council have set out plans for more supported living accommodation as it wants to avoid sending local residents with complex needs outside of the borough.

The Islington Labour Council website says the plans are set to be completed in the next 12 to 36 months. These will allow people with Autism and learning disabilities to live closer to their families.

The Islington Autism Partnership Board, who are excited about the plans, aim to bring together local experts, family carers, agencies and organisations to work towards improving the lives, health and wellbeing of people with an autistic spectrum condition.

Ellie Chesterman, Joint Commissioning Manager for Disabilities Islington Council, said:  “The plans relate to some housing developments being led by our learning disability service. These are really exciting plans that will increase the availability of suitable accommodation in the borough.”

According to the Islington Council website, research by the National Autistic Society found that 87 per cent of people affected by Autism do not think the public have a good enough understanding of the condition.

Ellie Chesterman said, “The representation on the Board is varied across all of these different stakeholders and is a great opportunity to share knowledge and information and take steps towards positive change.

“That said, we are a very new group – we’ve only had three meetings so far. To date, a lot of the work we have done is to identify what our key priority areas are to focus on over the next two years. To take this work forward, we have set up a number of subgroups, including employment, training and raising awareness. .

“The meetings are open to anybody from Islington who has Autism or who is a family member/carer for somebody who has it.”

Another survey by the National Autistic Society in 2017, shows the response of 1,610 people with Autism and their families in the UK:

  •  77% think the public don’t understand their need for more time to process information.
  • 82% said this makes them feel anxious;
  • 48.5% said it can lead to a meltdown or shutdown.
  • 68.5% said they’d chosen not to socialise
  • 39% said they’d avoided going shopping
  • 35% said they’d chosen not to go to a café or restaurant
  • 28% said they’d chosen not to visit their GP or apply for a job.


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