Senate Select Committee on Autism Report on services, support and life outcomes for Autistic Australians

30 Mar 2022

On 25 March, the Senate Select Committee on Autism tabled its report on services, support and life outcomes for Autistic Australians. Consistent with the Committee’s terms of reference, the report reflects a comprehensive consideration of the wide-ranging and complex set of issues for Autistic individuals, families and those seeking to support them – and the enormous amount of evidence provided to the Committee by the community through submissions and hearings.

Despite some gains over the past decade, for many of the growing number of Australians on the autism spectrum, life outcomes in education, vocation and health continue to be far from optimal, as evidence given to the Senate Select Committee shows. The capacity of service sectors and communities to support Autistic participation, health and wellbeing remains inconsistent, and individuals and families are still having to navigate a complex and poorly integrated system of support across federal/state/territory boundaries and service systems.

The report recommends that a national autism strategy be developed, the first of the Committee’s 81 recommendations, and that the range of matters considered in the report be addressed within that national framework.

Autism CRC is very pleased to see the priority given in the report to addressing the many challenges under an integrated national framework. We are equally pleased to see the commitment to co-design and co-production with and by Autistic Australians and the autism community in developing a national strategy and initiatives.

We welcome the recognition that a national autism research framework will be needed to support a national strategy, and that this framework should be based on community-defined priorities, starting with those developed through the Australasian Autism Research Council and informed by the recommendations in the report.

Autism CRC thanks the Senate Select Committee for bringing together this comprehensive report. It shows that there is much work to be done together and Autism CRC looks forward to working with all stakeholders in that endeavour.