Barbara is backing a campaign by the National Autistic Society for extra help from the employment and benefits system to help adults with autism.
A new report by the National Autistic Society reveals only about a third of people with the condition are currently now working or on benefits.
Barbara is keen to support campaigns for better support for people with autism. She spoke at an event the National Autistic Society held at the Labour Party Conference which focussed on the gender gap in the diagnosis of autism. Barbara spoke about the need to help teachers and other professionals identify girls and women with autism so that they can get the support they need.
The ratio of females to males with autism is believed to be 1:4, but because girls and women with autism behave differently from boys and men with autism, many go undiagnosed and this can have a long-term effect on their quality of life.
“People with autism have a great deal to offer and we know that many want to work but are not able to get all the help they need. I would like to see that people with autism are properly supported when seeking employment.
“We must also pay more attention to the possibility that many girls and women with autism are going undiagnosed. Girls with autism may focus on different things to boys, or they may learn to mask their autism by copying the behaviour of other girls. There is a need to raise awareness on this issue and to have more research into autism among females.”
More information about the ‘Don’t Write Me Off’ campaign and report can be found at: