JeanThe third Autism Strategy Collaborative’s Business Meeting and Development Workshop of 2015 was held on September 25 at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

The Collaborative represents a commitment from local authorities across Scotland to the formation of a “community of practice”, sharing best practice and working together to overcome common challenges occurring nationwide.

Following successful events in January and in April, the National Autism Co-ordination Project (NACP) held a third event for local leads working on autism plans and strategies. This third Collaborative meeting focused on transitions for people on the autism spectrum across the lifespan.

The meeting was opened by Donald Macleod, NACP Project Manager, who provided an update on the progress on local autism strategies and plans across Scotland. Professor Jean MacLellan, National Lead Co-ordinator of the NACP, went on to set the scene for the event’s presentations on current experiences of transitions in Scotland.

jamesJames Fletcher of the Association for Real Change (ARC) Scotland presented on the work of the Scottish Strategy for Autism’s Work Group 2, which aims to help ensure that people with autism are able to participate in all aspects of community and society by usefully making the transitions from school or college to adult life. James’ presentation described the aspirations for young people on the autism spectrum as they go through transitions and the first steps that can be taken to make these a reality.

Scott Richardson-Read of ARC Scotland presented on the development of seven principles of good transitions, as outlined in the Principles of Good Transitions 2 document, and described the outcomes of the recent series of roadshow events, Exploring Transitions: Digging Deeper. Autism Network Scotland advisor Lynsey Stewart was credited by Scott for her hard work in the execution of these events and the Final Report on the roadshow was launched. You can find a link to the PDF of the report below.

Scott was joined by members of the Galaxy Group, who offered a parent’s perspective on transitions.

Lorene Amet of Stirling Council spoke about the use of technology in easing the process of transitions, from social media to a new app that has been designed at Stirling University.

scottThe afternoon session of the event saw two workshops taking place with delegates attending each workshop in turn. The first workshop was delivered by Lynsay Haglington of East Dunbartonshire Council, Carole Anderson of the NHS Health Improvement Team, and Tracy Wenzl of Autism Network Scotland. This workshop discussed asset-mapping in local areas, both in terms of available services and in discussing the personal traits of individuals on the spectrum and how they might be regarded as assets.

The second workshop discussed legal obligations in relation to transitions, comparing people’s expectations of the experience and the reality of going through such a process. It was presented by Scott Richardson-Read.


Presentations from the Day


Exploring Transitions: Digging Deeper – Final Report (2015), Autism Network Scotland, in conjunction with Association for Real Change Scotland and Scottish Transitions Forum