On 5th April, we held an ideas cafe surrounding the topic of autism. Attendees came from a diverse range of health, social care and academic backgrounds. A range of ideas were highlighted for discussion, in relation to autism that the attendees felt would be valuable to discuss.
Ideas that were put forward included:
- Managing parents’ expectations around obtaining a diagnosis for their child
- How to keep autistic children in mainstream school
- Special needs training for all trainee teachers
- Transition for a child into adult services
- Training for educational staff – increasing training and confidence levels of staff to better manage children with autism
- How do we access school staff in order to train them?
- Can technology be used to link up all of these different areas?
- Mapping the services available for different age groups.
The group consensus was that a mapping exercise would be useful to visualise what services are currently available and who they are aimed at. This led to an interactive session of plotting out services and gaps in service for different age ranges:
- Early Years
- Primary School Age
- Secondary School Age
- Post 16/Teenagers/Young adults
- The Elderly
Where gaps were identified, the group considered what was being done, or what could be done to address the shortcomings.
Once plotted, services were categorised according to whether they could be accessed through universal services or self-referral, or whether they required a referral to be made via a professional.
A follow-up event to further map out out the autism landscape of Lincolnshire, and to discuss and collaborate on other themes relevant to autism has been planned at LORIC on Friday 7th June 10am-12pm. This event is open to anyone with a personal or professional interest in autism and places can be booked via the LORIC Eventbrite page.