Our Work

Find out about the work Autistic UK and our Wales branch Autistic UK-Cymru are doing to promote the needs and rights of Autistic people across the UK.

Report following the initial survey to ascertain the expectation and needs of the Autistic community re: the content and delivery of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Learning Disability and Autism Training for all Health and Social Care Staff

Thank you to all of those who completed our survey released in August. We appreciate all of the feedback, and have been working since this initial survey closed on producing a report of the findings.

Two days ago (17th September) was World Patient Safety Day. While the theme for this year focused on health worker safety as a prerequisite for patient safety, at Autistic UK we felt that it was an ideal opportunity to focus our efforts on getting our survey data into a publishable format.

For too long, Autistic people have had their safety compromised in heath care settings due to a lack of suitable training for staff. We hope that the feedback and comments made by our respondents will help ensure that the Oliver McGowan mandatory training will be redirected to meaningful coproduction, led by the communities it is set to serve.

Our findings can be found in full here.


An initial Survey to Ascertain the Expectations and Needs of the Autistic Community re: the Content and Delivery of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Learning Disability and Autism Training for All Health and Social Care Staff

Following the announcement made on 1st August 2020 regarding the long awaited outcome of campaigning to ensure consistent and adequate training across all health and care services, our community welcomes the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Learning Disability and Autism Training. We congratulate Paula McGowan on this magnificent achievement.

However, there is an increasing level of concern and interest in how this mandatory training’s content and delivery will be designed. In order for ordinary people to be able to express themselves and have their voices heard, Autistic UK has designed this survey to facilitate the autism community in making its views known. As a result of this first survey, we can discover which questions you want answered in future surveys as soon as we know more.

This survey is open to all individuals, parents, carers, and those working with Autistic people, regardless of neurotype, in order for us to gather as wide a spectrum of opinion as possible. We can accept responses from people aged 13+ in line with social media practice.

We will publish the results and make them available to any interested parties. We will also present them to relevant authorities. This survey should take about 15 minutes to complete.

Hub Provision for Statemented Children - Survey Analysis

Following the response from Kirsty Williams regarding the documented guidance for supporting pupils with Additional Learning Needs and/or Disabilities during COVID-19 lockdown we conducted a Wales-wide survey regarding any contact they received from their LEA and/or school regarding hub childcare provision for their statemented child.

We received a total of 189 responses from most counties across Wales (with zero responses from Merthyr Tydfil and Wrexham). The results have been analysed and we have produced a report of its findings. You can read the report in full here.

Key finding are:

  • 76.2% of all respondents had no contact from their school and/or LEA to determine whether or not their statemented child required a hub placement
  • Of the 189 responses, only 27 were in the shielding category, therefore this was not a reason for non-contact
  • Children who attend specialist settings or a specialist base within a mainstream school made up 49% of the responses, but 66% of those contacted regarding hub provision

We accept that some schools may have conducted in-house reviews of children, however the guidance states that parent/carers should be involved in the process, and lockdown with schooling at home is a vastly different environment to typical schooling. Therefore, in-house reasoning may not have been accurate.

Our findings have been sent to Kirsty Williams. Should you wish to comment on this matter, or if you would like your views to be raised in our meetings with Welsh Government, please email press@autisticuk.org.

As part of our online focus group sessions, we will be holding discussions around education. If you’d like to join the mailing list to be notified of these sessions, please use this form.

Online Focus Group Pilot Scheme

Due to our face-to-face groups being on pause, we’re piloting online focus groups so you can have your say.
Our first groups are about the Impact of the COVID Crisis – The Positives and Negatives:
We want to know:
  • What was your best experience during the crisis?
  • What was your worst experience during the crisis?
  • What do you want to see happen post COVID?
  • What don’t you want to see post COVID?
These COVID focus groups will be running on Tuesday 28th July. 1pm-3pm is an Autistic only group (self ID is valid) and 7pm-9pm is for Autistics and Allies.
Click here to register your interest in joining either COVID group, and to indicate future groups you’d be interested in joining.
Each group can have a maximum of 8 participants (plus A-UK staff) so please register as soon as possible. If we have a large number of people interested, we will look to host further sessions.

Response from Kirsty Williams

This evening (8th July 2020) we received a response from Kirsty Williams to our letter dated 16th June 2020 regarding the lack of documented guidance for schools concerning the return of pupils with Additional Learning Needs and/or Disabilities.

You can read her response in full here.

This has prompted us to send out a short survey to parent/carers in Wales regarding any contact they received from their Local Education Authority and/or school regarding hub childcare provision for their statemented child. This survey can be found here.

We will provide an update with the results over the next few days.

June 2020 Newsletter

Here’s our latest newsletter containing information about all of the things we’ve been doing over the past couple of months. 

Letter to Kirsty Williams MS regarding the guidance for schools returning during the covid-19 pandemic

We wrote to Kirsty Williams MS on 16th June 2020 with the concerns of our stakeholders regarding the lack of documented guidance for schools concerning the return of pupils with Additional Learning Needs and/or Disabilities, particularly for those who attend mainstream provisions (as some specific guidance has been provided for Special Schools).

We are concerned that the needs of these pupils and their parent/carers have not been fully considered, and have requested a response that we can provide to our stakeholders before schools reopen on 29th June.

You can read our letter here.