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WA young people with autism share their experiences

Being listened to, receiving a diagnosis and inclusion in school, the community and workplaces are some of the main concerns of WA young people with autism who recently shared their experiences with the Commissioner.

Commissioner for Children and Young People Colin Pettit collated the views of WA young people to be submitted to an Australian Senate’s Select inquiry into the experiences of people with autism and the need for a National Autism Strategy.

Almost 9,000 Western Australians are currently diagnosed with autism.

“Children and young people with autism have the right to timely, effective services and supports and should have a say in the interventions they receive,” Mr Pettit said.

“It is important for WA children and young people to be part of the current discussion around a National Autism Strategy.”

All of the 12 children and young people who participated in interviews had positive experiences of autism and supports to help them overcomes challenges. The main issues that were important to them were:

• Being listened to, encouraged to make decisions and to contribute
• Having an autism diagnosis
• Having access to health and mental health services that understand autism
• Inclusion and support in education
• Equal access to employment and fair treatment in the workplace
• Support to live an independent and successful life
• Social connections and access to community activities
• Having greater understanding of autism in the wider community
• Support people who are respectful, well-informed and capable of taking action
• Having a more effective NDIS.

“I thank each of the young people who shared their views and their families who supported them in doing so.”

The Commissioner’s Speaking out about autism report has been submitted to the Senate Select Committee on Autism.