Geoffrey has strongly championed improved services in Devon for those with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) for several years, and previously sponsored the Autism Act in Parliament to give the strategy legal force, meaning that local authorities and NHS services who fail to provide support for people with autism are breaking the law. Geoffrey also supported the national Push for Action campaign, as part of which he wrote to both the Department of Health and Devon County Council to ensure that everything possible is being done to improve support for those with autism.
Geoffrey takes a special interest in ASC provision in Devon and maintains a close working relationship with the North Devon Forum for Autistic Spectrum Conditions. Geoffrey keeps in regular contact with the Forum and frequently takes up individual cases, on behalf of his constituents, with the DWP and other agencies. Most recently, Geoffrey attended the Forum AGM, on 21 November 2014, at which he spoke about the Government’s introduction of new statutory guidance under the Autism Act.
The guidance will ensure that local authorities, health authorities and other public bodies observe the minimum standards of awareness and treatment of those with autistic spectrum conditions. Geoffrey advised that the Government is consulting on new guidelines for public authorities in respect of the treatment and services available for ASC, urging members of the forum to become involved in the consultation. He also spoke of the Government’s Innovation Fund which will finance new initiatives such as software to assist those with Aspergers with everyday tasks, and concluded by offering to sponsor the forum with a visit to the House of Commons in the New Year.
Geoffrey Cox said: “I am really pleased to see how the group has become such a supportive and friendly organisation, who give tremendous help to families throughout Torridge and North Devon which include a child or adult with an Autistic Spectrum Condition.”
“The group helps spread vital awareness of this complex condition and I am determined to work alongside its members to enhance the services available to those with autism in our areas.”
Please see the press releases and links below to view some of the work Geoffrey has done in support of those with autistic spectrum disorders.