The survey conducted by Teesside University Honorary Graduate Anna Kennedy OBE and Anti-Bullying Alliance as part of anti-bullying month, is part of a larger campaign, Give Us a Break, to raise awareness for autism and improve environments for vulnerable young people in our educational system.
Give us a Break Campaign calls on Schools and Colleges to be particular aware of the bullying that children and young people with autism experience at break times.
It aims to provide positive activities that keep them safe. This action is welcomed by families of children on the spectrum as they are citing that structured activities as a constructive way of combating the bullying of children and young people on the spectrum.
These changes must be made through government if we are to make a positive change for the future.
Anna Kennedy said: 'This survey demonstrates that the process in place for diagnosing children and young adults is not within many local authorities fit for purpose. Even parents who manage to negotiate the bureaucracy often find that the service provided is disconnected and of poor quality.
'Professionals may have a different opinion however, my research is based on speaking to the people who matter namely the parents of children and young adults affected by Autism concerns have been raised in the past but nothing seems to happen.
'Granted Autism IS difficult to understand and YES other issues/disabilities can present in similar ways however, it can’t be right that in most cases the whole diagnosis process should take over a year.
'The challenge to the government is to sort this out and let parents know when this will be done. After all if it’s not the Governments job whose job is it?'