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Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received on establishment of a national strategy on autism and Asperger's syndrome; and if he will make a statement. (186735)

We have not received any representations on the establishment of a national strategy on autism and Asperger's syndrome.

However, I recently attended the launch of the National Autistic Society's I Exist campaign which calls on the Government to demonstrate national leadership by encouraging implementation of good practice at a regional and local level.

It is for local authorities to manage their priorities and decide how resources should be distributed, taking into consideration locally identified needs and assessments of individuals.

“Better Services for people with an autistic spectrum disorder: A note clarifying current Government policy and describing good practice” was published on 16 November 2006. It clarifies the nature and intent of existing Government policy as it relates to adults with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). A copy of this document is available in the Library.