Autism Guidance


Autism is a lifelong disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world.
There are approximately 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.

The Mental Capacity Act, 2005, provides a statutory framework to empower and protect vulnerable people who need support or are not able to make or communicate their own decisions.

The law says that you must be assumed to have capacity unless it is proved to be otherwise through this legislation.
This means that a diagnosis of a particular condition, type of behaviour, your age or appearance cannot automatically mean you lack capacity.

There are five key principles:

  1. Assume the person has capacity to make a decision.
  2. Support the person to make a decision.
  3. An unwise decision doesn’t indicate lack of capacity.
  4. If lack of capacity is established then any decisions made by others should always be taken in the best interests of the person.
  5. Less restrictive ways of meeting someone's best interests should be looked for

The National Autistic Society has produced A Guide to the Mental Capacity Act.
For further information, please follow the link or refer to your JRCALC Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Published 1st May 2020


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