Displaying items by tag: autism

Thursday, 01 February 2024 20:39

1 in 9 British children are disabled

Official data indicates that diagnoses of mental health and behavioural conditions such as ADHD and autism have risen sharply post-Covid, affecting one in nine British children. The number of children classified as disabled has increased by over a third since the pandemic, reaching 1.6 million. This includes a 144% increase in children receiving benefits for behavioural disorders. In 2021-22, 11% of children reported a life-limiting condition lasting over a year, up from 8% in 2019-20. The DWP reports a 69% rise in disability benefits claims for children in the last decade, with a 17% increase since Covid began. Child disability payments, now at £3 billion, are projected to hit £5 billion by 2030. Over 650,000 children receive disability allowance, with nearly half for learning disabilities, which have surged by 37% in five years. Behavioural disorders like ADHD have more than doubled, affecting around 140,000 children. Experts attribute these trends to factors like increased awareness, lockdown effects, and changing definitions of mental health issues. The government acknowledges the heightened awareness of these conditions, and says it is committed to a balanced welfare system.

Published in British Isles
Friday, 21 February 2020 07:46

Failing people with learning disabilities

On 12 February the Equalities and Human Rights Commission launched a legal challenge against Matt Hancock, secretary of state for health and social care, over the repeated failure to move people with learning disabilities and autism into appropriate accommodation. It stated, ‘We have long-standing concerns about the rights of more than 2,000 people with learning disabilities and autism being detained in secure hospitals, often far away from home and for many years. We have sent a pre-action letter to Mr Hancock, arguing that his department has breached the European Convention of Human Rights by failing to meet the targets set in tts Transforming Care and Building the Right Support programmes. These targets include moving patients from inappropriate in-patient care to community-based settings, and reducing the reliance on in-patient care for people with learning disabilities and autism.’

Published in British Isles
Friday, 21 July 2017 09:20

Autism / MMR vaccine debate continues

The father of an autistic child, who is also a GP administering MMR vaccine to babies, reports that outbreaks of measles in France and Italy have prompted the authorities to make childhood immunisation compulsory. Now a newspaper editorial demands similar UK measures, insisting that ‘parental refusal of immunisation should not be tolerated’. A notorious 1998 study in The Lancet suggested a link between MMR and autism. The paper presented no evidence for this link, which caused undue alarm among parents of children with autism and parents of children due for vaccinations. Since then a voluntary approach to childhood immunisation has successfully ensured high levels of protection for British children. An anti-vax cause has been politically endorsed by Donald Trump and Italy’s Beppe Grillo, in spite of accurate and ethical grounds for opposing compulsion. A voluntary approach to childhood immunisation has consistently protected British children despite scares and ill-informed campaigns.

Published in British Isles
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