An Ordinary Life Too – ‘a publication to give a voice to autistic people in Scotland’

‘An Ordinary Life Too’ is a document written to give a voice to autistic people in Scotland.


In 2010-2011, members of the Asperger Forum set up originally by the Scottish Autism Service Network (later Autism Network Scotland) were involved in the Adult Autism Health and Wellbeing Project. The project facilitated AS Forum meetings that met in Glasgow, and this group identified topics that were important to their health and wellbeing. The topics were used in the original questionnaire that was circulated to AS Forum members, their contacts and two organisations – ELAS and ARGH.
Notes from the Forum group together with information collated from the questionnaires formed ‘An Ordinary Life’ – a publication to give a voice to autistic people in Scotland. Each chapter was co-written by AS Forum members and an associated professional.


As chapters in the first edition of ‘An Ordinary Life’ were limited to approximately 2000 words, it was not possible to include everyone’s comments on every subject but hopefully ‘An Ordinary Life 2’ (2nd edition) will add to information on the everyday issues facing autistic individuals.
There are many important messages and reflections in Ordinary Life Too. Five years on from our original publication too many of the issues then raised still persist. In this edition we therefore revisit persistent issues, introduce new perspectives and celebrate the achievements of autistic people and their activism in contemporary Scotland.


You can find the PDF of ‘An Ordinary Life Too’ here:

Health Improvement Scotland – Information Booklets

The first of the three patient information booklets, from the guideline Assessment, diagnosis and interventions for autism spectrum disorders, for adults going through the diagnosis process, or who may already have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been published by Health Improvement Scotland.  It explains the recommendations in the guideline about:

  • diagnosis
  • approaches that can help after diagnosis
  • the care people are likely to get and can expect

The booklet will also be of interest to partners, friends, family, carers and employers.

Please click here to access the booklet, where it can also be downloaded for free.

If you would like to order any copies of this booklet, please email ( ) the number of copies you would like and the full delivery address, including postcode.  Paper copies of the booklet are free to all residents living in Scotland.

The booklets for young people will be available in January 2017 and the one for parents and carers will be available in February.

Action on Autism Seminar Series Report Published

The finals report on the conclusions of the Action on Autism Seminar Series has been published and is now available for download. This series of events was funded by the ScottishGovernment, and featured collaboration between autism researchers, Scottish Autism and Research Autism. The seminars themselves were facilitated by Autism Network Scotland.


Research plays an essential role in providing a rigorous, valid and reliable evidence base for understanding the key features of autism, for exploring effective approaches and interventions, and for evaluating implementation and impact. The purpose of the seminar series was to explore the state of autism research in Scotland in relation to these three functions. Part of this process included defining ‘impact’, considering how evidence supports claims of impact, identifying both research and impact gaps and working together and across disciplines to consider how to maximise impact.
Evaluation of what has been achieved in relation to the aims of the series, has been informed by professional, researcher, parental and autistic comment, seminar discussions and analysis of the filmed record of proceedings. As a first step in dissemination a one-day conference will allow participants to focus on what we know, what we don’t know and how research may be used to inform policy and practices. A continuing networking around research will be facilitated through an online library of all filmed AAR Seminar sessions, learning events and further Scottish Action on Autism Research Conferences.


You can read the full report by clicking here.

West Lothian Council – Autism Strategy Survey

At the end of 2015 the Scottish Government set out four key areas that will help improve the quality of life for people with autism, their families and the wider community. The four key areas are:


A Healthy Life     Choice & Control      Independence     Active Citizenship


West Lothian Council and its partners (NHS, Police Scotland, West Lothian College and Voluntary Sector etc.) are keen to review their local Autism Strategy and want to make sure the four key areas are included.

To help them make sure they get this right in West Lothian they need your views and would kindly ask you to complete the survey by clicking on the link below.


Who is this survey for?

  • Children, young people and adults who have a diagnosis of autism
  • Parent, carers and other family members of individuals who have a diagnosis of autism
  • Individuals, professionals, volunteers etc. who work with or come into contact with individuals who have a diagnosis of autism

The survey should take you about 15 – 20 minutes to complete and a separate survey should be completed for each person who wants to give their views for example a parent and a child (2 surveys).   To do this simply complete once and then when finished click on the link again.

All information gathered through this survey will be held confidentially by West Lothian Council, you do not have to give your name so individuals cannot be identified.

West Lothian Council expect a report on the key results of the survey to be produces in February 2017 and this will be made widely available.   The outcome of this survey will help them inform the West Lothian Autism Strategy Action Plan and help them to identify the areas they need to prioritise.

If you have any other questions about this survey please contact:


Thank you in advance for your support.

Research Associate Post – Universities of Edinburgh, Durham and Warwick

Applications are invited for a new Research Associate post (0.5 FTE, fixed term 22 month contract) to work on a psychology research project exploring the role of family relationships in outcomes for children with rare genetic intellectual disability syndromes. Little is known about how family characteristics and relationships affect outcomes for children with rare genetic intellectual disability syndromes or how the children’s characteristics and behaviour affect parents’ wellbeing and sibling adjustment. The proposed research uses a range of quantitative methods to explore these issues. There is a particular focus on families with a child with Williams syndrome.


The project is funded by the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund and you will join a research team from the Universities of Edinburgh, Durham and Warwick. You will be based in the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh. This post offers the opportunity to work with established researchers, to build a strong research profile through peer-review publications, and to impact positively on the lives of children and young people with intellectual disability and their families.


Informal enquiries should be made to


Closing Date: 9th January 2017



For further info see:


Vacancy Ref: : 038363