Raising awareness of adult autism

Autism is a lifelong condition that affects over 500,000 people in the UK. However, there are no accurate figures for how many adults are affected by autism.  Frontline staff including GPs and benefits advisers, acknowledge that their understanding of adult autism is limited. While most professionals know something about autism, they do not necessarily understand how autism affects people. This makes it hard for them to recognise autism and communicate appropriately. It also means they may not know how to adapt their behaviour and their services. 

In response to the Autism Act (2009) and the subsequent strategy for adults with autism, Fulfilling and rewarding lives, the Department of Health commissioned a number of projects to raise awareness of adult autism.

The autism strategy aims to increase understanding by improving awareness training for all frontline public service staff, in line with their job needs, and developing specialist training for staff in health and social care.

The Society has developed a series of e-learning modules to raise awareness of adult autism. Delivered through the Professional Development Centre, the modules appeal to a range of learners, including members of the public. The modules concentrate on raising awareness, delivering knowledge and understanding from introductory to specialist levels.

The three e-learning modules are:

The BPS Learning Centre Manager welcomed the increased funding for autism training: “We are pleased to be working with the Department of Health and other professional bodies to raise awareness of adult autism.”

Go to our question and answers page for more information about autism.

Latest news: We are pleased to announce that these modules won gold in the category for ‘Excellence in the Production of Learning Content - Not for Profit Sector’  at the 2012 E-Learning awards.