Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of lifelong developmental disabilities that affect the way a person communicates, relates to people and the world around them. People with an ASD often have difficulty with social interaction, social relationships, understanding emotional expression and flexibility of thought and behaviour. People with an ASD have reported a different perception of sensory information and different styles of thinking.
Please see the Department of Health's Better services for people with an autistic spectrum disorder.
The County Autism Project is led by the County Autism Group, which has representatives from Surrey Children's Service, Surrey County Council Services for Families, Health Services, specialist schools, the National Autistic Society regionally and locally and a parent representative.
The project aims to make services for people with ASD in Surrey more responsive and effective. You can see more about the project's work, including the 2005 'What I want is...'report and the 2007 'Autism Spectrum Disorder Handbook' on the Autism Information page of the Surrey Learning Disability Partnership Board website.
Seven Surrey services joined the Autism Accreditation programme, established by the National Autistic Society to improve the quality of provision for people with autistic spectrum disorders.
The first to complete the accreditation programme was SW Community Support Services - Lockwood in 2007.
The project has set up a managed network of Autism Champions across the county. This provides training and mentoring, and supports services working together. This has been recognised as a good practice example by the Department of Health's 'Better services for people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder' document.