The New Key To Services For People With Autism

The National Autistic Society (NAS) has launched a brand new web resource, Signpost, tailored specifically for individuals with autism, their parents and carers, and aimed at providing them with vital information that could change their lives.

The resource was developed after research published by the NAS underlined the need for greater information and support to be made available to parents and carers. For example, the charity has found that:

– 36% of carers do not understand the benefits system, or know what benefits they are entitled to.1
– 51% of carers were unaware that they were entitled to a carer’s assessment from their social services department.
– 45% of parents said they did not receive adequate support or information to choose a school.2
– Only 38% of people with an autistic spectrum disorder have had a community care assessment. Only 16% were offered this without specifically requesting it.

Benet Middleton, NAS Director of Communications, said: “Autism is a spectrum disorder that affects different people in different ways. This means that finding the appropriate support for each individual, in their local area, can be a real minefield.

“It is vital that people with autism and their families are aware of their entitlements so they can access services, benefits and support that could ease some of the pressure on their lives.  We hope that Signpost will point people in the right direction.”

The new Signpost system matches data specifically to each person, taking into account their age, diagnosis, gender and location. It gives detailed information on how autism may be affecting that particular person, their rights and the benefits that they may be entitled to.

Relevant services and sources of support are also highlighted, tailored to the user’s location anywhere in the UK. Signpost can be accessed through the main NAS website. This site has also been developed to make it even more clear and easy to use. It includes news and information on autism, as well as the Autism Services Directory, the UK’s most comprehensive directory of services and events for people with autism. The Signpost web resource and Autism Services Directory have been developed with funding from Vodafone UK.