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National Autism Team Supplementary Annual Report 2019/20

National Autism Team Supplementary Annual Report 2019/20

The National Autism Team’s (NAT) Supplementary Annual Report 2019/20 celebrates the breadth of the work completed throughout Wales from April 2019 – March 2020. The report is supplementary to the substantive Annual Report 2018/19.

This year, the NAT has continued to work with autistic people, their families, partners, and stakeholders across Wales with the ultimate goal to improve the lives of autistic people. If you wish to hear directly from the Team’s key stakeholders, click on the sound clips which can be found throughout the report, where a range of autistic people and professionals share their experience of working co-productively with the Team throughout the year. Transcripts are provided for each sound clip.

The Team is funded by Welsh Government, hosted by Welsh Local Government Association, and works in close partnership with Public Health Wales. This year’s report celebrates the range of work programmes undertaken by NAT to help raise awareness and understanding of autism, and to support autistic people and their families and carers and is prefaced by the recently appointed Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing and the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, MS.

Amongst the report highlights are:

  • NAT response to Covid-19. Including establishing an All Wales Virtual Autism Team to create resources which are specific for autistic people and their families, in response to the variable Welsh Government guidance.
  • Launch of the What is Autism? film, created co-productively with autistic people and designed to raise awareness and understanding of autism.
  • This is the first year that the Team have been able to collect a full year of the new data framework for the 7 Integrated Autism Services in Wales, with the support of the WLGA’s partner organisation, Data Cymru. See Appendix A to read the full report.
  • The Learning with Autism awareness programmes for children continue to be a success; a total of 71 Early Year Settings have received their award, 26 of these were during 2019/20. Additionally, more than 60,000 pupils across primary and secondary school settings have completed the programme. The programmes are now available on Hwb – Welsh Government’s digital platform for learners and teachers.
  • Following the first National Autism Wales Conference 2019, the Team produced an Evaluation Report which highlights the success of the Conference and the overwhelmingly positive feedback received from all delegates. For example, 92% of all delegates agreed that the conference had been beneficial to their own autistic wellbeing or understanding of autistic wellbeing.
  • This year sees the largest compendium of case studies collected by the NAT. Take your time reading through each one. If you prefer something more visual, watch the digital case study film, co-produced with Gerraint Jones Griffiths, the Lead Ambassador for the Engage to Change project.

 

Reflecting on another busy and successful year for the Team, Eluned Morgan, Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and the Welsh Language said:

”We recognise that Covid-19 has been particularly challenging for autistic people, their families and carers. The collaborative work undertaken by the team has provided crucial, timely and appropriate support during the pandemic.

“This report is a clear reflection of the breadth of the team’s achievements during the year. Strong values of collaboration and involvement are highlighted throughout, and this approach will be vital in the future engagement and delivery of the forthcoming Code of Practice on the Delivery of Autism Services.”

 

Reflecting on another busy and successful year for the Team, Cllr Jane Mudd, WLGA’s Spokesperson for Mental Health and Wellbeing, commented:

“I would like to thank all of the autistic people, parents/ carers, professionals, and the National Autism Team for the evident hard work that has taken place throughout the year. The volume and quality of the collaborative working captured in this Supplementary Annual Report 2019/20 is fantastic to see.

“The work of the local authority Autism Leads and the Integrated Autism Services have been captured in the substantial case studies compendium. I have particularly enjoyed watching the videos from Heads of the Valleys Tang Soo Do in Monmouthshire, a martial arts school for autistic children, and Halo Leisure’s autism-friendly swimming lessons in Bridgend. It is important that every child has the opportunity to learn new skills and develop their physical and mental wellbeing.

“This report provides an opportunity for the Team to reflect, with partners and stakeholders, on the work undertaken across Wales to improve the lives of autistic people.”

 

The National Autism Team’s Supplementary Annual Report 2019/20 is available to view here.

Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) Press Release is available to view here.