Autism Network Scotland’s very own Emeritus Professor Aline-Wendy Dunlop was awarded an MBE for services to autism in Scotland in June this year.
Aline-Wendy first worked with a pupil with autism in the final year of her teacher training in 1970: later she worked at Milton House Primary School in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile where the first specialist autism class was set up. Her interest in autism continued throughout her years of school teaching and into her career in teacher education both at Edinburgh and Strathclyde Universities.
In 1996 she and a colleague, Gilbert Mackay set up the working group that developed the first multi-professional postgraduate programme for autism in Scotland. The first students enrolled in 1998 and Aline-Wendy became Course Director at that time.
In 2004 she and Dr Tommy MacKay instigated the National Centre for Autism Studies (NCAS) and were joined by Charlene Tait and Helen Marwick as Co-Directors: many projects have been realised through NCAS including the Scottish Autism Services Network, the Scottish Autism Toolbox, the Autism Training Approval Project, the Autism Adult Health and Well-being Project and most recently Autism Network Scotland which aims to be a hub for autism information and to provide opportunities for the sharing of interesting practice about autism for Scotland.
Aline-Wendy is a member of the Scottish Government Autism Reference Group which developed the Scottish Strategy for Autism.
Aline-Wendy says that when she received the letter awarding the MBE she hesitated about accepting as all the work she has been able to do for autism has because of the amazing people she has worked with over the years, and the MBE it is such an individualised award. However she decided to go ahead and accept as this is truly an award for autism and highlights the importance of continued work towards positive and fulfilling lives for people with autism, their families and the professionals who work with them.
Everyone at Autism Network Scotland would like to say a hearty congratulations to Aline-Wendy on her award.