Laura Sharman 06 August 2020

Councils warned about discriminating against autistic children

More than 40 councils have been criticised for unlawfully discriminating against autistic children.

A new report, published by Disability Law Service, Leeds University, Cerebra and the BBC, found 41 councils in England have policies that prevent autistic children from accessing a care assessment.

Sir Ed Davey, a patron of Disability Law Service, has written to the local authorities concerned warning them that their policies are in breach of the law.

Sir Ed Davey said: ‘It is shocking that at least 41 local authorities across England are breaking the law by discriminating against autistic children. While Government underfunding of special education needs and disabilities is severe, that is no excuse for discrimination. Most councils are abiding by the law. All councils should.

'The law requires all disabled children to be given proper care, but many councils have adopted a policy that excludes many autistic children from an appropriate assessment. The case studies in this report are particularly heart-breaking – every child has one chance at childhood, and so many are being denied their chance.'

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