Public meetings provide update on autism strategy

A closeup of a child writing with a pencil
It has been estimated 1,500 people on the Isle of Man have autism [BBC]

Two public meetings will be held to provide an update on the Isle of Man's national autism strategy.

Coinciding with autism acceptance month, the Department of Health and Social Care said the meetings would share the progress made so far, and provide an opportunity for the public to give feedback and ask questions about the document.

The 10-year National Autism Spectrum Condition Strategy, which received Tynwald approval in January, sets out six goals which include increased acceptance and a reduction in care inequalities experienced on the island.

The meeting will feature those who worked on the strategy and a public consultation that helped to shape it.

They will discuss what has happened since the last public meetings were held in September 2022, outline the strategy and provide information on what happens next.

Steering group

Autism is a developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others.

The government has said work on implementing the strategy has begun, including an annual autism acceptance month campaign for April, new training programmes at the job centre and the Department of Education, Sport and Culture providing staff with access to improved training and resources.

Initial funding of £150,500 would contribute towards the first year's work, and a steering group on the strategy made up of a combination of public servants and representatives from outside of the government was in the process of being created to monitor the progress of the plan, it added.

The first meeting will take place at Keyll Darree on 8 April between 13:00 and 14:00 BST, with the second held at the same venue on 16 April from 19:00 to 20:00.

Although free to attend, places are limited and need to be pre-booked.

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