Partners from Belgium, Greece, Italy, Latvia, and Spain convened in 21.02.2024 for the final meeting of the Erasmus+ Care4Autism project, utilizing a hybrid format that included both in-person discussions in Brussels and virtual participation via Zoom.
This meeting marked the culmination of the project’s 24-month journey, with partners expressing a keen interest in pursuing future collaborations.
➡️ Implications and Recommendations The #Care4Autism project illuminated the persistent disparities among countries regarding access to accurate autism diagnoses for adults. Despite existing research and evidence, there’s a notable challenge in locating professionals who recognize and make autism visible beyond childhood. Moreover, while some countries have developed models for addressing autism in adulthood and aging, the absence of such frameworks elsewhere highlights significant gaps and disparities. This situation exacerbates feelings of helplessness among those affected, underscoring a departure from the principles of universal health rights and respect for individual identity. A crucial future direction is to aggregate and disseminate best practices that uphold the rights and identities of autistic individuals unaware of their condition, thereby alleviating their suffering and ensuring they receive proper care. Furthermore, the project identified considerable variations in service provision, the development of working models, and access to screening and diagnostic tools across languages. These discrepancies also extend to healthcare accessibility, underlining the need for concerted efforts to bridge these gaps.
To address these issues, it is recommended to enhance efforts aimed at educating and spreading awareness, coupled with initiatives to combat the stigma associated with autism in adults across various settings, including the workplace, leisure activities, and within families. It is imperative to pair this knowledge with strategic actions designed to promote equality and fair treatment for all minorities, particularly the overlooked demographic of older individuals with autism.