(London, UK) Autism campaigners have urged Britain’s Social Care Minister, Ivan Lewis to launch a debate on Autism and the Elderly. Concerns have been raised over the social care of people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown speaking at the King’s Fund in London said yesterday that England was facing a £6bn funding black hole of social care for the elderly, and said it was “essential” those people who worked hard and saved for retirement were treated fairly. Minister Ivan Lewis, according to news reports appears to have ruled out free care for the elderly.

The Autism Awareness Campaign UK is urging Minister Ivan Lewis to look at the serious issues concerning the elderly who are on the spectrum. Autism is a neuro developmental disorder – over 500,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum. In 10 years time there could be well over a million people with autism.

Campaigners are calling on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to launch a national strategy on autism and a 10 year plan of action on autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.

Ivan Corea, head of the Autism Awareness Campaign UK said: ‘We urge Minister Ivan Lewis to launch a debate on social care and the elderly with autism. Who will look after them when they grow old? Many families with autism are below the poverty line -many will not be able to afford to care for the elderly with autism there is also a huge shortage of sheltered accomodation for the elderly with autism and very few residential places. Demand will outweigh supply particularly with the rising numbers of people with autism. This will reach crisis levels in 10 years time. We urge the Government to act – there are real concerns that the elderly with autism will have no one to care for them particularly the poor,’ he said.

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