(London,UK) British autism campaigners have formed a new autism partnership urging the UK Government to act on autism.

The campaigners have launched a new website urging people in the United Kingdom to support the petition on autism – for further information on how UK citizens can support the ACT NOW Petition, please access the ACT NOW website: http://actnow01.web.officelive.com/default.aspx

According to the Act Now website:

‘Autism campaigners are working together to ‘ACT NOW!’ about the proposed benefit cuts and assessments and have launched a petition which we intend to deliver personally to No 10 Downing Street. Please ACT NOW! and sign by clicking here

The proposed benefit cuts and the assessments will begin in 2013 for those on the Autistic Spectrum who are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and other benefits. In addition the cuts across Local Authorities and Primary Care Trusts could have a catastrophic effect on the Autistic community, a group whose vulnerability already creates high levels of stress and anxiety to those involved.

Those who live with autism 24/7, 365 days each year will be at the core of these cuts and will have to live with whatever ensues as a result of the cuts. We are not opposed to cuts as such and understand that cuts need to be made. However the magnitude of the changes that these cuts will bring about and how they will impact on a community that is already marginalised and discriminated against, must be taken into account.

In 2008 the National Audit Office estimated that autism costs the UK 28.2 billion pounds each year and yet only 18% of Local Authorities who responded to the National Audit Office survey were able to give precise numbers of adults with low functioning autism known to services, with only 12% being able to do so for adults with high functioning autism. Given that thousands of children and adults do not meet the criteria for the provision that is available in their Local Authorities and Primary Care Trusts we would like to know how much of the money being spent is on crisis management.

The cuts to budgets in Local Authorities and Primary Care Trusts are going to make it even harder for children and adults to meet the criteria to access the provision that is available within Authorities and Primary Care Trusts, and we fear that only the minimum that can be supplied to these children and adults will be what is given. We also have grave concerns that there will be no new services that would directly benefit autistic children and adults, commissioned by Local Authorities and Primary Care Trusts.

We are calling for urgent talks with Her Majesty’s Government to ensure that those who live with autism 24/7 are consulted fairly and effectively in every aspect of the decision making process that will ultimately affect our lives.

We would like HMS Government to address and respond to our concerns. We WANT HMS Government to address and respond to our concerns.’

Ivan Corea – UK Autism Foundation

Richard Exley – Autism Consultancy Services

Larry Whybrow Gardiner – Parent Advocates Together

Sandy Howarth, Author – “No Matter What” – Autism

Anna Kennedy – Anna Kennedy Online

Carole Rutherford -Autism In Mind

Alison Wiles – Autism United Kingdom on Facebook

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