A report has been published today (March 18, 2016) by the autism research organisation, Autistica. This report highlights preventable deaths in autism.

A full copy of the report is available to download below.

John Phillipson, CEO of the North East Autism Society, said:

"Autistica’s report obviously makes for shocking reading, and while the exact figures and stats quoted are new, the sentiment of the report is not. We know that for many people with autism the odds can seem to be stacked against them – and that’s exactly why we exist.

We know people have issues with complex and additional conditions like epilepsy. We know that many of our service users will have anxiety or mental health issues. And we know that so much more has to be done to address all that these two things mean and how they impact the people we care for.

But let us also reassure you, here at the North East Autism Society we are doing all we can to make sure it’s not only OUR services which continually strive for excellence but that the North-east itself is becoming a more autism friendly place to live and work.

Right now, as part of our work on the Connect to Autism campaign funded by the Department of Health, we are in the process of training Sunderland and North Durham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to be more aware of autism but also how to make some reasonable adjustments to remove any barriers that could stop autistic people getting the health care they clearly need.

In fact, more than 100 organisations have signed up to sign our Autism Charter meaning everything from dentists and barbers to football grounds and leisure centres will soon be more accessible for people with autism. This inclusive approach will in turn help alleviate some of the anxiety and isolation experienced, it will help families feel more confident to ask for support and it will make the general public more aware of what autism is and why it’s so important for reports like this one to be commissioned."

We welcome this report, although its findings are harrowing, because people with autism deserve so much more. We are committed to making that happen.

A statement from the Autism Alliance Uk in response to Autistica’s report reads:

“Members of Autism Alliance UK would like to thank Autistica for its ongoing determination to put the lives of people with autism at the forefront of Government, Health and research agendas. Clearly the findings of this report are both shocking and tragic and so we welcome this important research and prospect of it opening up a wider, critically important discussion into how our country can best serve the autism community. Further research is now required to establish the true scale of this issue in the UK, although we believe this research data to be highly credible.

The prospect of losing a child at any age is inconceivable for any parent but for tens of thousands of people reading the findings of this report today the stark reality of the challenges facing their children, young or old, will be all too poignant. However, these families should not feel they are without hope. The members of the Autism Alliance UK and many other grassroots organisations helping people with autism are committed to delivering the best care, campaigning for solutions and raising awareness of this condition which affects at least one in every hundred people.

As an alliance we will now strive to ensure that all those caring for and supporting adults and children with autism will review these findings in a bid to deliver the best possible long term health outcomes for those our organisations exist to serve. This report and the headlines it will generate will only seek to make us all the more determined to keep doing all we can for people affected by autism.”

Click on the image below for the full report

Autistica - Personal tragedies, public crisis