Helping the most vulnerable out of the poverty trap and reducing inequality: Policies, strategies, and services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, including intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities: BASE Project Report (Volume 2) NILT Survey Autism Module

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

177 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The primary purpose of the BASE Project was to establish how to help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder out of poverty by promoting social inclusion. In order to achieve this, a range of methodologies were utilised that aimed to provide a baseline against which the effect of the Autism Act (NI) 2011 and the associated Autism Strategy (2013-2020) and Action Plans can be measured. The BASE Project is reported in 5 volumes. Volume 2 reports on the analysis of the autism module of the Northern Ireland Life and Times (NILT) Survey that assessed public awareness, attitudes, knowledge, and projected behaviours with regard to individuals with ASD (all primary data and technical reports are available at www.ark.ac.uk/nilt/).

The NILT (2012) survey first ever autism module (n=1204) offered a baseline against which the impact of new autism legislation, policies, and strategies can be measured. Key findings:

• 82% awareness: Most people in Northern Ireland are aware of autism (n=989).
• 50% of all participants knew someone with autism personally (n=606).

Of those who were aware of autism:
• 19% had a close family member with autism (n=186), and/or a friends/acquaintance (n=296), and/or a work colleague (n=79) with autism.
• Autism awareness was particularly low for those from ethnic minorities and those with no internet access.
• Awareness of autism specific legislation was low (20%).
• Good levels of knowledge about autism strengths and challenges, slight tendency to overestimate the occurrence of special talents.
• Prevalence of autism was underestimated (62% thought autism was much less prevalent than official figures or did not know).
• Fairly accurate perception about causes of autism, i.e., not caused by poor parenting (84%).
• Strong support for evidence-based behavioural interventions (77%), but confusion about interventions that are not evidence-based (64%).
• Strong positive attitudes towards children and adults in social, educational and employment settings.
• Autism not viewed as necessarily ‘lifelong’ (58%); support for independent living (78%), e.g., driving a car (83%).
• More business for employers who employ people with autism (12%).
• Strong support for families caring rather than residential care (64%).
• Confusion about service responsibility: education (26%) health (33%) or both (28%).

Given increasing prevalence rates of ASD it is important that the general population is aware of autism and able to respond responsibly to the associated strengths and challenges. The results of the NILT (2012) first ever autism module show that the general public was well aware of autism, had positive attitudes, and was relatively knowledgeable about the issues faced by individuals and families affected directly. However, there was a lack of clarity about responsibility for effective service delivery. The NILT results show that a shift in focus is necessary from ‘awareness raising campaigns’ to an approach that delivers clarity with regard to intervention and accountability.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBelfast
PublisherQueens University Belfast
Number of pages89
Volume2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2013

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Helping the most vulnerable out of the poverty trap and reducing inequality: Policies, strategies, and services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, including intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities: BASE Project Report (Volume 2) NILT Survey Autism Module'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this