NHS services in England’s South West are endangering Autistic children
Today, I came across an article by The Guardian that raises a life-threatening issue. It seems that due to a 350% increase in referrals for autism diagnosis amongst children since the pandemic, NHS managers have moved the goal posts and added extra criteria to meet before a child can be referred. Unless a child meets these criteria, they will not have access to diagnosis, with the irony being that early diagnosis could stop them from meeting this criteria; which indicates an extreme level of suffering to be required before getting the admittedly already pitiful support that is available.
Let’s look at the criteria, as discussed on the Sirona Website:
This means that we are expected to wait until a child or young person is already in crisis before they will even refer them for diagnosis. It’s tantamount to negligence and threatens the wellbeing of a demographic that is already significantly more likely to die by suicide.
People on Twitter are also speaking out against these unethical criteria.
Tweets like this highlight the fatigue so many of us feel from trying to make sure Autistic people are supported.
What are we supposed to do when those who are supposed to support us only choose to do it when they are given no other choice? How do we fight back against the brazen demonstration of how inconvenient our existence is considered?
Autistic children and young people will end up in crisis and maybe even die due to rules like these.
This is not ethical, and it is a failure to ensure reasonable adjustments. It is an overt indicator that equality laws can be broken when it’s too inconvenient to follow them. The NHS needs to put a stop to this before more lives are lost.
We are Autistic, and we deserve to be consulted before such inhuman criteria are created.
For further reading about the failure of the NHS to support and protect Autistic people, please check out these articles: