‘Asperger syndrome’ refers to the group of individuals who have no obvious language problems and are intellectually capable or even exceptionally bright, but are still inflexible, struggling to interact socially and communicate effectively.
The exact causes of autism spectrum conditions are still unknown, but it’s clear that they are highly genetic. Autism tends to run in families. It is not uncommon for more than one person within a family to be on the autism spectrum.
It is now estimated that it affects around 500,000 individuals in the UK today, which is 1 in every 100 of the population. If the families are included the number affected by Autistic Spectrum Conditions, it rises sharply to over 1 million. The condition has a profound impact on these individuals and their families especially if they do not receive the right support.
These individuals and families had been failed by statutory providers for years because they were not a good fit for how services were structured and delivered locally. In 2007 the National Autistic Society carried out a survey of 1,400 individuals called ‘I exist’. It found that the majority of adults with Autistic Spectrum Condition were not getting the support and services they need.
The research revealed:
- 63% of adults with Autistic Spectrum Condition do not have enough support to meet their needs.
- 61% rely on their families for financial support
- 40% live with their parents
- 33% of adults with autism have experienced severe mental health problems
Because of a lack of support
- Only 15% are in full-time employment.
- 44% of those who live in their own flat or house say that their family provides most of their support.
- 92% of parents were worried about their son or daughter’s future when they are no longer able to support them.