Man and woman in kitchenThe Welsh Government has announced seven million pounds of funding for an Integrated Autism Service aimed at addressing the unmet needs of autistic people and their families throughout Wales.

This was initially a three year project with funding of six million pounds. Today’s announcement sees the service extended until 2021 with an additional seven million. Details of how the Integrated Autism Service will operate are yet to emerge, with the first areas expected to start offering this service from June 2017.

The National Autistic Society Cymru has called for autism-specific legislation to reinforce the aims of the Welsh Government’s current strategy and to make sure autistic people in Wales have access to the services and support they need.

A National Autistic Society Cymru spokesperson said, “Today’s announcement provides some longer term assurance for autistic people and their families – something The National Autistic Society Cymru and our supporters have long been calling for.

“Autistic people and their families will expect to see improvements in the services and support currently available, and we will be closely following the development of the Integrated Autism Service as further details emerge.

We would urge the Welsh Government to go further to protect and promote the rights of autistic people in Wales by introducing autism-specific legislation, securing in law the duty to provide autistic people with the support they need.