The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, of which John is a member, has agreed that the time has come to make the world more ‘autism-friendly’. The Assembly has called for “person-centred and life-long support” for people with autism and their families. The Parliamentary Assembly agreed to a raft of measures to ensure people with autism can reach their full potential.
During a meeting of the Council’s Standing Committee John said: “We need to start seeing those with autism as ‘differently able’ not as disabled. I fully applaud the charity in my constituency – Music for Autism – which encourages musicians to work with those with autism. I am very concerned that when those with autism appear in court as witnesses we make the courts as autism friendly as possible. Similarly, our Parliaments tend to be noisy and very autism-unfriendly. We need to do more to make them autism friendly.”
The recommendations of the report involve:
- national strategies and action plans for autism that take a “whole government” and holistic approach
- stamping out stigma, negative stereotyping and discrimination against people with autism and their families
- including people with autism and their families in developing policies to support them
- mandatory autism training for social workers, teachers, doctors, police officers, legal professionals and others
- swift and thorough diagnosis for both children and adults
- extra support for autistic people in educational settings and at work, or when they come into contact with the police or the justice system
The Committee agreed that people with autism and their families had been heavily and disproportionately affected by the current pandemic and as a result should receive special attention now.