Advocacy, Self Advocacy and Autism Ranking: Unable to rate

Aims and Claims


According to “Supporting adults with autism: A good practice guide for NHS and local authorities (2003, individuals on the autism spectrum may need advocacy to help them with a wide range of issues. Those issues may include: access to education; transition to adulthood and adult services; access to housing; access to employment; assistance with social integration and life planning; access to health services and access to/maintaining current benefits.

According to Waltz et al (2015), self-advocacy may have several aims. “Most self-advocacy research places self-understanding, knowledge and voice as essential components. Self-understanding may include identity formation as well as developing an understanding of personal medical, educational or social challenges. Knowledge required may include legal rights, communication techniques, and information about particular systems one needs to engage with. Finally, a self-advocate must have the means to communicate their ideas, choices and wishes. In each of these areas, people may act independently or with support.”


There have been a number of research studies that have made claims about the benefits of advocacy or self-advocacy for people on the autism spectrum, or their parents or carers. For example

  • According to Boshoff et al (2016), “Parents referred to advocacy as a strategy for coping with fear, frustration, depression and anger, before hope can return again”. 
  • According to Burke et al (2016), the “…participants demonstrated significantly increased empowerment and special education knowledge, and stronger family-school partnerships”.

There have also been a number of best practice reports which have made claims about the benefits of advocacy. For example:

  • According to “Supporting adults with autism: A good practice guide for NHS and local authorities” (2003), Independent advocacy services are a perfect example of cost-effective, low-level support that facilitates independent living. Those adults with experience of independent advocacy testified to its value, but more advocacy organisations need to be equipped with the skills to work effectively with this group”.
31 Oct 2017
Last Review
01 Aug 2017
Next Review
01 Aug 2020