Approximately one per cent of the population nationally has an autistic spectrum disorder. This means that there will an estimated 6,000 people in North Yorkshire with autism. Autism is a lifelong condition that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how a person makes sense of the world around them.

North Yorkshire has set out a strategy to improve the lives of adults and their carers living with autism.

North Yorkshire autism strategy 2015-2020

The North Yorkshire autism strategy 2015-2020 'The changing landscape of autism in North Yorkshire' describes the work that will take place to change support, guidance and information for people with autism and their families in North Yorkshire. You can download the strategy and related documents below:

North Yorkshire autism strategy 2015-2020
North Yorkshire autism strategy 2015-2020 (made simple)
North Yorkshire autism strategy 2015-2020 (policy framework)
North Yorkshire autism strategy 2015-2020 (easy read)
North Yorkshire autism strategy 2015-2020 (you said, we did)

Interim autism strategy

North Yorkshire published its interim autism strategy to coincide with World Autism Day on 2 April 2014. This strategy covered an interim period to meet the needs of adults with autism in North Yorkshire.

Read the interim autism strategy, along with the strategy implementation plan.


The Government has indicated their determination to improve services to adults with autism. This has been illustrated in three key publications:

The Autism Act (2009)
An act to make provision about meeting the needs of adults with autistic spectrum conditions; and for connected purposes.

Fulfilling and rewarding lives
The strategy for adults with autism in England (2010).

Think autism 2014
Fulfilling and rewarding lives, the strategy for adults with autism in England (an update).

NICE - Autism clinical guidelines 142
Autism: recognition, referral, diagnosis and management of adults on the autism spectrum (2012).

We share the vision of 'Fulfilling and rewarding lives', believing that:

'All adults with autism should be able to live fulfilling and rewarding lives within a society that accepts and understands them. That they are able to get a diagnosis and access support if they need it, and that they can depend on mainstream public services to treat them fairly as individuals, helping them make the most of their talents.'

See the what is autism page for more information about autism and how it affects people.

National Autistic Society report

North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire and York PCT commissioned the National Autistic Society to carry out four initial engagement events and an online survey in November 2012. The aim was to seek the views and opinions of people in North Yorkshire who are affected in some way by autism about their experiences, their needs and their wishes for the development of future services.

View a summary report of the key messages from the events and survey. You can also read the full report