Autism

Depending on Where You Live, Autism Services May Be Poor

| by Kev Leitch

Nick Hornby is in the Telegraph today
talking about the so-called ‘postcode lottery’. He talks of how it
existed when his son was diagnosed, it definitely existed when my child
was diagnosed and from my experiences talking to new autism parents it
still exists today.

For those unfamiliar with the phrase it
literally means that depending on where you live you may get
good/bad/awful/no services. This is, as Hornby states, a national
scandal. I’m aware of a location a couple of postcodes away from me in
Stoke-on-Trent where the local health authority even go so far as to
dissuade GP’s from making referrals to local CDC’s
(Child Development Centers). Stoke has a reputation within the UK as
being one of the worst, most violent and poor areas in the UK and I
guess the local authorities see their financial priorities as being
elsewhere.

Just to illustrate that, here’s a comparison of the West Midlands region of the UK according to NAS. Stoke – a large city – gets 27 known resources. Birmingham, also a large city less than 50 miles away gets 109.

And
when we drill down deeper we find that Stoke has just one resource for
assessment/diagnosis, compared to Birmingham that has four. No surprise
autistic people and their families in Stoke struggle.

This
is a crazy situation – how are we ever supposed to get a firm fix on
prevalence and/or incidence of autism aside from anything else?
Something needs to change in the UK and soon.

Can autism be cured or managed? See the Opposing Views debate.