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Better post-diagnosis support and awards in updated strategy.
Autistic people and their families will receive tailored information about all the local support available to them, under an updated national strategy.
The Scottish Government will work with partners to create a ‘national post-diagnostic support toolbox’ that pulls information about local services into one place. It is in response to requests for better support during and after diagnosis, and for consistent, relevant and up-to-date information.
The toolbox was announced in the updated Scottish Strategy for Autism, which outlines the priorities for the next three years. Other actions will include:
- National awards celebrating the successes of autistic people as well as innovative and excellent care
- National awareness raising campaigns to increase understanding of autistic people’s needs
- Support for health and social care staff and teachers to better understand autism
Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt announced the developments at the National Autism Conference in Edinburgh, an event being held during World Autism Awareness Week.
Ms Watt said:
“Our updated plan builds on the work and progress we have made since the Scottish Government published the first strategy in 2011. Late last year we asked autistic people, their families and those working in support and care to tell us where we needed to go next. More than 1,200 people took the opportunity to share their experiences, concerns and hopes, and our updated strategy reflects this.
“Autistic people and their families were clear they needed better and more easily-accessible information about support. And I want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to make the public and those who provide care and education are not just aware of the needs of autistic people, but their successes and contributions as well.”
COSLA’s Health and Social Care Spokesperson, Councillor Peter Johnston, said:
“It is great to see the launch of the new updated autism strategy, I wholeheartedly welcome it. I also very much welcome the partnership approach between ourselves and Scottish Government to get us to this stage.
“It is good to see autism getting pushed up the political agenda and I sincerely hope that this updated strategy further improves the general public’s understanding of autism.”
There are estimated to be around 47,000 people with autism in Scotland.