Autism

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:04 pm on 29th March 2018.

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Photo of Paula Sherriff Paula Sherriff Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care), Shadow Minister (Mental Health) 3:04 pm, 29th March 2018

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention.

NICE recently recommended the creation of an autism register so that areas where autism may be under-diagnosed can be identified. Following that, the Government committed to including autism in the primary care register. Will the Minister update the House on the implementation plans for this scheme?

We must also ensure that post-diagnosis support is in place. We know that parents have raised concerns about being left with no support during and after the diagnostic process, not being signposted to other advice and help, and not even getting a written report of the diagnosis. Too often, there are significant barriers to accessing the right treatment. In a previous debate, we heard the shocking case of a young boy who was having suicidal thoughts, but was rejected four times for treatment because he had not yet made an attempt to take his own life. The Children’s Commissioner for England confirmed concerns about that issue when she stated to the Health Committee that this type of situation was now “the norm” within children’s mental health services. That is worrying for children’s wellbeing generally, but particularly so for those living with autism.