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Support for autism
More than £1.8 million to support the Scottish Government’s autism strategy has been announced by Public Health Minister Michael Matheson.
For the first time since the launch of the autism strategy in November 2011, £1.12 million is being made available to local authorities to develop strategies and action plans.
The package includes £21,997 to Cantraybridge, Highland / Moray (securing supported employment placements), £10,768 to Virtual Inclusive Partnerships, Kilmarnock (arts /media skills for young people), £14,400 to NHS Forth Valley (communication support needs for adults and £5,000 to NHS Fife Child Psychology Dept (Early interventions for parents/carers of children/young people over age 8 on autism spectrum).
Around 30 organisations from across Scotland will receive funding through the Autism Development Fund of £644,000 to develop new support services for people with autism and their families.
PASDA (Parents of Autistic Spectrum Disorder Adults), an organisation providing practical and emotional support to parents and carers of adults with autism in Edinburgh and the Lothians, one of the organisations being funded through the Autism Development Fund, will receive £47,400 next year, 2013-14.
The Open University and Strathclyde University will receive £100,000 to offer, on a first come first serve basis, free distance learning courses to increase the understanding of autism.
Whilst visiting PASDA, Public Health Minister Michael Matheson announced the package of funding. He said:
“Our autism strategy was launched in November to ensure people with autism and their families are supported by the widest possible range of services including social care, education, housing and employment.
“We are beginning to make a real difference to the lives of people with autism by improving support services available to people who need them. One year on, we are making good progress.
“This funding will make a real impact in delivering the strategy. It will help local authorities to develop strategies and action plans, will help organisations deliver services locally where people need them and by delivering training we will increase the understanding of autism.”
Susan Chambers, PASDA Convenor, said:
“We are delighted to have been successful in our application to the Autism Development Fund. This funding means that we will be able to continue to provide support to parents and other family carers of adults with autism spectrum conditions (ASC) across Lothian. Our aim is to enhance the health and wellbeing of parents and other family carers by providing them with information about ASC and useful resources and services, as well as connecting them to other parents and carers through our peer support network, interactive workshops and discussion groups. This is an exciting opportunity which will help us to continue to grow and develop as an organisation.”
Dr. Ilona Roth, Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the Open University Science Faculty, and Chair of ‘Understanding the Autism Spectrum’ says:
“We are absolutely delighted to be collaborating with The Scottish Government on such an important and worthwhile initiative. As an authoritative, up-to-date and accessible guide to the field, our course has proved extremely popular, attracting more than 3,000 students over the last 3 years, including health and legal professionals, teachers, parents and grandparents, as well as people on the spectrum. We look forward to working with the Autism Strategy for Scotland when the course re-starts in November.”