A NEW DIRECTION FOR AUTISM SERVICES IN HARINGEY
Last year Haringey Council closed Roundway, the only dedicated day centre for the increasing number of people with autism and complex needs. According to official estimates there are around 2000 autistic adults in the borough. The Council now offers a service at the Ermine Road hub for only 15 people, half the number who formerly attended Roundway. This means:
- People with autism lose contact with networks of family and friends;
- More have to go out of the borough for daytime activities;
- Higher transport costs for families and longer time spent in travelling;
- It is more difficult for family carers – and the Council – to keep in contact;
- Neglect and abuse are less likely to be picked up.
- Cuts in support services may result in damage to physical and mental health
Many people with autism who live in residential care or supported living schemes are no longer able to access the one remaining Council-run centre for day activities. Untrained support workers are frequently in the position of having to organise day activities as well as providing basic personal care.
What we need
The May local elections offer the chance of a change in direction. We ask that incoming councillors pledge their support for a local autism centre that can cater for the needs of people across the autistic spectrum and their families and carers. We need:
- A base for day activities for those with learning disabilities and complex needs;
- A safe space in which people can meet friends for mutual support;
- An information hub for parents and family carers;
- A centre that would help autistic people to engage with local services for health, training, employment, housing and leisure.
Because people’s needs are different, they need different sorts of daytime activities, and scope for individual choice.