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‘Think Autism!’: the importance and impact of early identification of autistic parents and children within public law children proceedings

Date:15 OCT 2023
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Frances Harris Harcourt Chambers

This article aims to debunk those myths surrounding autism and to encourage practitioners to have autism firmly on their radars when conducting public law proceedings.  The article flags that autism is likely far more prevalent within care proceedings than is widely recognised and argues that whilst autism may be an identified feature of a case it may also very well be an underlying feature that goes unrecognised by the family or those professionals working with them.  It challenges the received wisdom that certain behaviours may be attributable to either attachment/trauma issues or autism and argues that it can be and often is both and that formal diagnosis though more challenging in such a scenario should not be avoided.  The article aims to highlight the importance of identifying issues of neurodivergence early within proceedings e.g. achieving the best possible evidence correct contextualisation of behaviours rather than neurotypically skewed incorrect inferences being drawn appropriate support for the family appropriately tailored assessments and correctly matched placements at the conclusion of proceedings.  The article sounds a note of caution at its conclusion that...

Read the full article here.