National Autism Strategy

What is the National Autism Strategy?

In 2022, the Australian Government announced the development of a National Autism Strategy.

The Strategy will be for all Autistic Australians. It will cover key reform areas including access to services, healthcare, education, and employment. It will help to guide a more coordinated, national approach supporting autistic people at each stage of life.

The draft National Autism Strategy was released by the Department of Social Services for public feedback from 2 April 2024 to 31 May 2024. It is expected that the final Strategy will be considered by Government by the end of 2024.

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Why is the National Autism Strategy important?

There is a growing number of Australians on the autism spectrum and with other neurodevelopmental conditions. For many Autistic people life outcomes in education, vocation, health and family functioning continue are worse than they should be.

There is a 20-year gap in life expectancy compared with the general population.

Autistic people are also around seven (7) times more likely to be unemployed than people without disability, and they have a higher risk of homelessness.

People within the Autistic community have called for a dedicated National Autism Strategy.

A National Autism Strategy will improve life outcomes for all Autistic people in Australia. It will provide, for the first time, a coordinated national approach to services and supports for Autistic Australians and their families.

The National Autism Strategy will sit alongside Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031.

Statement on language:

The Australian Government acknowledges that people use different words to talk about autism, and that each person will have a way of talking about autism and themselves that they like best. Some people in the Autistic community like to say ‘Autistic person’ (identity first language), some like to say ‘person with Autism’ (person first language), and some are fine with using either.

The Australian government is using identity first language to talk about the National Autism Strategy. This means we will be using the term Autistic person or Autistic people.

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