Autism Centre of Excellence Evidence-based Support Ensuring autism clinical services are tightly integrated with autism research is at the heart of the Cambridge Autism Centre of Excellence. Autism is an unbelievably complex, multifactorial condition and research is vital to fill the enormous gap in our scientific understanding, and ultimately to provide new avenues for interventions. Only with evidence-based information can we progress and make tangible change to people's lives. Excellence in services and life skills at the ACE A spectrum of needs means a spectrum of care options. Whether you require a diagnosis for your minimally-verbal 4-year-old, or you are a 50-year-old autistic woman struggling to cope in the workplace, support at the ACE will be excellent in quality, individualised, wide-reaching and delivered with compassion and respect for difference. A bespoke plan will be agreed, which may include therapies, interventions or skills-training, depending on the person’s needs. The value of a multi-disciplinary team Often, the most effective treatment requires a team of providers. Crucially, finding the right support for autism should not be complicated. The ACE will put an end to the stress and confusion by providing multi-disciplinary teams of specialists who will work together. Each team may include: psychiatrists clinical and educational psychologists speech therapists occupational therapists music and art therapists family therapists support workers, employment mentors and benefits advisors counsellors The innovate Life Skills and Autism at Work programme This exciting programme will equip and bring confidence to autistic people regarding their abilities and future aspirations by: 1) Recognising the potential of every person Through bespoke training, group workshops and counselling the ACE will provide wide-reaching support for autistic people, such as mastering necessary routine life skills, accessing the right education, providing guidance for approaching job interviews or coping with anxiety in the playground, classroom or workplace. Assigned specialists will help each person to develop skills ensuring they are stepping increasingly closer to feeling comfortable in the ‘real’ world. 2) Participation in research Individuals will be invited to participate in vital research into the challenges autistic people face. Such research will subsequently influence policies and direct governmental funding back to services. 3) Improving inclusion in the workplace The ACE will work closely with a range of companies and employers from banks and IT companies to garden centres, bicycle shops, bakeries, retail-outlets and sports centres, to make these places more autism-friendly and to provide work experience, internships, and jobs with varying degrees of support. Only 16% of autistic adults in the UK are in full-time paid employment, and 40% suffer from anxiety and depression. This programme is just one of the ways the ACE will ensure individuals feel valued and have purpose and meaning in their daily lives, which we all need.