We know that the Coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the physical and mental health of autistic people. It's possible to learn from the pandemic and use this as an opportunity to develop new ways of delivering services. We've gathered the data and created a briefing document with recommendations for policymakers and services.

Our briefing, written in partnership with Centre For Mental Health, includes evidence of the impact of the pandemic, areas for further research and recommendations for policy makers.

Recommendations include:

  • NHS Trusts should ensure that existing crisis services are accessible to people with diverse communication needs.
  • NHS England should develop plans for preventing and treating mental health conditions in neurodivergent people and ensure services are sufficiently funded.
  • The Department of Health and Social Care and other Government departments should consider how to keep social distancing guidance clear for those who struggle with uncertainty and ambiguity.
  • Schools, employers and local authorities should assess whether temporary changes have benefited some neurodivergent people and plan how to retain parts of those changes.

What happens next?

We have sent this briefing to NHS and government contacts and will work with them to see what changes can be implemented over the coming months.

If you are a policy maker or work in services that can make any of these changes happen please get in touch with Georgia: georgia.harper@autistica.org.uk.