Supporting residents with autism at heart of new Croydon Council plan

‘An autism-friendly Croydon’ is the name of a new Croydon Council plan to help improve the lives of people with autism in the London borough.

The council published details of the proposed scheme based on the feedback of 500 residents with autism or people close to someone with autism.

Working together with the Autism Partnership Board (APB), a list of priorities has been put forward, which include:

• Supporting children with autism and their families so their needs are understood and met as early as possible

• Seeking to make buildings and public spaces as autism-friendly as possible

• Providing suitable education and training for people with autism in an appropriate environment

• Providing suitable accommodation for people with autism

• Raising awareness and understanding of autism throughout Croydon via a broad training programme

It is estimated that Croydon has between 8,000 to 11,000 residents with autism who regularly face multiple barriers from day to day.

Autism is a lifelong neurological disability and an autistic person’s ability to cope and interact with others can vary considerably.

Commenting, Croydon Council’s Autism Champion, Councillor Jerry Fitzpatrick said:

“Hundreds of residents have contributed to the writing of this strategy which will go some way towards making the borough a place where autistic people feel welcomed, understood and supported to live happy and productive lives.”

Croydon Council’s Cabinet Member for Families, Health and Social Care, Councillor Janet Campbell added:

“The strategy proposed is crucial in helping make Croydon the kind of inclusive borough where every section of society has the support it needs.

“I am very proud to say that we are becoming more autism-friendly and we are determined to improve the lives of our residents with autism and their families, as well as helping understanding of the disability.”

If agreed by the borough’s Cabinet, an Action Plan will be created and published online which will be monitored over the next three years by the APB to ensure it is carried through.

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