The Scottish Autism Strategy

In November 2011 the Scottish Government launched a National Autism Strategy for Scotland and set out the national vision for autism services:

“that individuals on the autism spectrum are respected, accepted and valued by their communities and have confidence in services to treat them fairly so that they are able to have meaningful and satisfying lives”

The National Strategy provides a framework for implementation and makes 26 recommendations to improve the support available and quality of life of people with autism. It also cites 10 indicators for current best practice in the provision of autism services.

Indicators for Best Practice:

  1. A local Autism Strategy developed in co-operation with people across the autism spectrum
  2. Access to training and development to inform and improve understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) amongst professionals
  3. A process for ensuring a means of easy access to useful and practical information about ASD
  4. An ASD Training Plan to improve the knowledge and skills of those who work with people who have ASD
  5. A process for data collection which improves the reporting of how many people with ASD are receiving services and informs the planning of these services
  6. A multi-agency care pathway for assessment, diagnosis and intervention and support
  7. A process for seeking stakeholder feedback to inform service improvement and encourage engagement
  8. Services that can demonstrate that service delivery is multi-agency and co-ordinated and targets the needs of people with autism
  9. Clear multi-agency procedures and plans to support individuals through major transitions at each important life-stage
  10. A self-evaluation framework to ensure best practice implementation and monitoring.

In 2013 the Scottish Government commissioned a National Autism Mapping Project, a short-term fact finding and analysis exercise to build up a picture of autism service provision and provide information on autism co-ordination locally. The Autism Mapping Report for Stirling and Clackmannanshire presents a snapshot of our local situation and information was gathered through desktop research, focus groups and questionnaires. The report reflects the views of stakeholders who attended the events and the information therein was used as a basis on which to carry out further research and stakeholder engagement.

The National Autism Strategy has provided the context for the development of Stirling and Clackmannanshire’s local autism strategy and implementation plan. It covers the needs of children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder and their families and carers, by focusing on increasing opportunities and achieving better outcomes across the lifespan. The strategy is a ten-year plan; it takes into consideration the recommendations made by the National Autism Strategy, 2011, the 10 indicators for current Best Autism Practice and the outcomes of the Stirling & Clackmannanshire Council mapping project. It draws upon the multi-disciplinary expertise of service users, families, carers and a range of professionals from both statutory services and third sector organisations.