Increased support announced for people with autism in Scotland

Written by Gemma Fraser on 1 April 2019 in News

The pledge to improve awareness and diagnosis comes ahead of World Autism Awareness Week 

 

Image credit: PA

Increased support for people with autism has been announced by the Scottish Government as part of a wider drive to improve public understanding of the condition.

In partnership with Queen Margaret University, a National Autism Implementation Team will work across children and adults services to improve the diagnosis process and care pathway for autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions, such as ADHD.

To improve public perception, an awareness campaign with the charity Inspiring Scotland will encourage people to see autism as a different way of thinking, rather than a disorder that can be cured.

It will also highlight the many strengths people with autism can bring to society.

The Scottish Government will also be working with Scottish Autism to improve the support given to newly diagnosed autistic people and their families, and steps are being taken with Education Scotland to refresh the autism resource available to all schools.

Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey said: “We want Scotland to be an inclusive society in which everyone can play a full role and we are absolutely committed to changing attitudes and to showing the positive contributions that people with autism can make.

“These next steps will build on the work and progress we have made since the Scottish Government published the first Scottish Strategy for Autism in 2011.

“We want everyone to receive the support they need to reach their full potential, in the most suitable environment with a range of provisions in place to ensure this is the case.”

Celia Tennant, chief executive of Inspiring Scotland, said: “We strive for a Scotland without poverty or disadvantage, and welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving the lives of autistic people. These steps aim to increase society’s understanding of autism, to move away from stereotypes and to make clear the many strengths autistic people bring to society.

“We are proud to be a partner in this programme and look forward to working with autistic people, charities and organisations to create change for autistic people in Scotland.”

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