This report published by the National Autistic Society explores the challenges for families affected by autism from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in England.
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The findings follow from a series of focus groups which took place across England. They reinforce previous research which found families affected by autism in BAME communities struggle:
- when trying to get a diagnosis
- to access the services they need
- to feel supported by their local communities.
The report also notes certain additional challenges within communities. For example, low knowledge of autism or beliefs that it is a curable condition. Stigma can lead to feelings of isolation, shame and blame. Families can also feel a responsibility to cope with their child’s autism independently, or have negative preconceptions of healthcare services.
The report recommends that local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups identify the needs of local BAME populations and that appropriate services are put in place, and that their effectiveness is monitored.