Developing an autism plan for east sussex
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Developing an Autism Plan for East Sussex . Kenny MacKay Strategic Commissioner – Mental Health, Adult Social Care. Developing an Autism Plan for East Sussex . Debbie Endersby Head of Commissioning – Learning Disability, Adult Social Care. Welcome. Overview. Jane’s story.

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Developing an Autism Plan for East Sussex

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Developing an Autism Plan for East Sussex

Kenny MacKay

Strategic Commissioner – Mental Health, Adult Social Care

Developing an Autism Plan for East Sussex

Debbie Endersby

Head of Commissioning – Learning Disability, Adult Social Care



Jane’s story

“Finding people who understand about Asperger’s helps me and makes me feel less anxious. I want to find a job and have someone to do things I like doing with, someone who understands me and my anxiety. They don’t have to have autism but they need to know about Asperger’s and what it means for me.”

Scott’s story

Developing an Autism Plan for East Sussex

Angela Yphantides

Autism Commissioning Project Manager, Adult Social Care


Local picture

  • Comprehensive Needs Assessment

  • Autism lead appointed

  • Local stakeholder views

    National picture

  • Autism Act

  • Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives

  • Statutory Guidance

  • NICE guidance


To develop a plan by:

  • listening to local experts

  • strengthening partnerships

  • providing leadership

Some questions…?

Do the proposals reflect your priorities?

Any gaps?

Any suggestions for improved outcomes?

Key themes so far…

  • Autism in East Sussex

  • Helping people understand autism

  • Better support for people who have autism and their carers

  • Checking the plan is working

What hasn’t worked so well?

“DSM4 will make it harder for people to get a diagnosis because we’ll all be lumped together as Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I had to wait 14 months to get my diagnosis, and start to understand what autism is. The main things that are important to me are to get a job so I can live and be more independent, and to have people around me who understand the way I am. This would make me feel less anxious.”

Autism in East Sussex

  • Identify local needs of people with autism

  • Develop a diagnostic pathway – phase 2

What happened after you were diagnosed with Asperger’s?

When I got my diagnosis, there wasn’t any support. They didn’t refer me on. I went back to my mental health service but I don’t fit into the mental health world, even though I’ve come under mental health since I was young. Asperger’s is not mental health. Without people who understand me, I get anxious. I need help to manage my anxiety, especially when talking to new people who I don’t know if I can trust or not. I felt like I was going in circles.

Helping people understand autism

  • better information

  • strategically promoted

  • enhanced training opportunities

  • ‘champions’ network

  • extend to other agencies

What kind of support do you want?

“I contacted a lot of services I found on the internet but the contact numbers were mostly out of date or I was blocked because I had a criminal conviction. I tried to get support from a lot of organisations that helped people to get work. I want to find a job. I want to have a friend. I want to have support from people, to do things I like to do, where people understand how I am and can deal with it. Some people in mental health services are ok at doing this, but a lot aren’t. Also, some people are the Job Centre are ok but some are not.”

Better support for people with autism and their carers

Consider developing:

  • short breaks

  • time limited peer support

  • supported employment opportunities

  • extend opportunities to connect online with peers and carers

Checking the plan is working

  • publish a commissioning plan

  • clear leadership arrangements

  • series of targeted workshops to develop and implement outcomes – starting 20 November

Consultation plan

  • 11 June to 31 August

  • Raising awareness at stakeholder events

  • Today’s workshop

  • Survey

  • The voice of autism

  • Publish findings in September

  • Publish commissioning plan in October

How to get involved

  • Complete a survey

  • Let us know about your local group

  • Express an interest in attending future workshops to help implement the plan

Consultation cafe

Consultation survey

Is it clear?

Are there additional questions you would like included?

Thank you

  • Involvement forms

  • Future workshops

  • Publish the plan in the autumn

Lunch and networking

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