‘Understanding the Impact of Autism’ Module 2015 – Express Your Interest – Friday 14th November until Friday 19th December 2014

The Scottish Government is working in partnership with the University of Strathclyde on a training initiative, providing funded places to selected individuals on a Post Graduate Autism Module.


The Scottish Strategy for Autism was launched in November 2011 to ensure people with autism and their families are supported by the widest possible range of social care, education, housing, employment and other community based services.


Three years into our ten year strategy we are making good progress towards delivering the goals of the strategy. There is still much to do but we are beginning to make a difference to the lives of people with autism by improving support services available to people who need them.


The Scottish Government Autism Reference Group tasked with implementing the Scottish Strategy for Autism sees education for those who work with and care for people on the autism spectrum as a vital part of their initiative to improve the lives of people with autism and their families.


That is why, for the third year running, we are providing funding for up to 100 professionals, people on the spectrum, carers and other individuals with a special interest in autism to study this PG module ‘Understanding the Impact of Autism’ which is one of the modules within the Masters of Education (MEd) in Autism provided by the University of Strathclyde. The module can be taken for Continued Professional Development, to increase autism awareness or for Post Graduate credit on successful completion of an assessment. Funding will be offered FREE to people who live or work in Scotland as part of the £13.4 m autism fund to implement the strategy.


The module can be delivered as a Distance Learning Module, at the Glasgow Campus and for a small number of student cohorts on an outreach basis.  The Distance Learning and Campus delivery runs for an 8-week period and outreach delivery is negotiable. Any interests for an outreach delivery should be discussed with Dr Anna Robinson (Autism Courses Leader, M.Ed in Autism).


Due to this range of delivery modes expressions of interest will be taken from Friday 14th November until Friday 19th December 2014 and selected applicants will be informed by February 2015.  The module will start after Easter in April 2015.


This initiative will make a real impact in delivering the strategy. Through this training we will increase the understanding of autism, and help to ensure that people on the spectrum have access to professionals within autism services which understand and are able to meet the needs of people with autism.


If you are interested in this module please send an email or telephone 0141 444 8100.


To maximise the impact of autism training selection is based on potential scope across Scotland and also those people who have received training on the Open University 20-week course should not apply for this module.

Scottish autism launches new Centre dedicated to developing autism practice

Scottish Autism has today launched a new initiative aimed at encouraging collaborative effort to further research, develop and share information about what constitutes effective autism practice.


The launch of the Centre for Practice Innovation (CPI) follows findings from last year that only five per cent of autism research funded in the UK was devoted to services to support people on the spectrum and their families.Rather, the vast majority of projects focused on ‘basic science’ e.g. on neural and cognitive systems, genetics and other risk factors.


Scottish Autism, a charity which is committed to helping people with autism to lead full and enriched lives, has now created the Centre with a focus on better understanding autism practice and what kind of support works for individuals and why. The CPI will generate practice based evidence which can then be shared to improve services and outcomes for individuals with autism.


Through the new Centre, Scottish Autism will also seek collaborations with other relevant organisations to improve developments in practice and contribute to the existing body of autism knowledge. This includes building on existing relationships as well as creating new links with universities and across the wider academic community. 12 experts in the field have already shown their support by accepting roles as Research and Practice Associates and together they will form a Steering Group to guide the work of the Centre.


Alan Somerville, CEO of Scottish Autism said: “The Centre for Practice Innovation is a major step forward in our knowledge management strategy. I believe it will be an effective way of developing new ideas and initiatives, utilising the vast array of practical knowledge and experience that resides in our organisation.


“Through the CPI we will also develop more partnerships with the academic community and other organisations to adopt more evidence based practice and to generate practice based evidence, all aimed at delivering on our ultimate goal of further improving the quality of life for people who live on the spectrum.


“While a relatively high level of research is focused on neurosciences, there is a great underinvestment in understanding practice, social factors and socio economic data gathering around autism. If we are to be successful in our aim of enhancing the lives of both individuals and families in Scotland who live with the condition we feel it is vital to invest in more innovation and the development of services which can make a real difference to people’s lives today.”


For information please visit www.scottishautism.org or contact Bill Shaw on 07974 720669


Email: bill@bill.shaw.uk.com

Perth One Stop Shop November Newsletter Available

Autism Initiatives‘ Perth One Stop Shop, Number 3, has published its latest Newsletter.


The newsletter features information on the latest developments at the One Stop Shop as well as details of the many  events, groups and other activities taking place in the area. You can read the newsletter as a PDF here: Number 3 OSS November Newsletter 2014.


You can also read the Number 3 OSS Activity Calendar November 2014 to find the full range of activities for the next month.

Highland One Stop Shop November Newsletter Available

Autism Initiatives‘ Highland One Stop Shop in Inverness has published its latest Newsletter.


The newsletter features information on the latest developments at the One Stop Shop as well as details of the many drop-in sessions and other activities taking place in the Highlands. You can read the newsletter as a PDF here: Highland OSS November 2014 Newsletter.


You can also read the Highland OSS November 2014 Activity Calendar to find the full range of activities for the next month.

Scottish Autism awarded Big Lottery Funding Grant

Scottish Autism has received a significant boost of over half a million pounds from the Big Lottery Fund for a project aimed at helping families in rural areas of Argyll and Bute.


The £548,622 Investing in Communities grant awarded to the 5 year ‘Get Set 4 Autism’ initiative, will help in providing post diagnosis support to families with children up to the age of 18 who are on the autism spectrum.


Delivered in partnership with Autism Argyll, the project aims to help reduce feelings of isolation which can be heightened by families living with autism in rural areas. It will promote a greater understanding of autism, improve communication between parents and professionals and ultimately equip parents with the information and practical skills to enable them to better support their child.


Charlene Tait, Director of Development at Scottish Autism said: “We are delighted with this substantial funding grant from the Big Lottery which will enable us to establish this new initiative. Families living in rural areas have it particularly tough simply as it is much harder to access resources and support. We are excited to be delivering this model and hope that if it’s successful in providing post diagnostic support, it could be rolled out to other areas in Scotland.”


Alison Leask from Autism Argyll said: “This generous funding grant is fantastic news. We know about the sense of isolation which exists locally amongst many families who have children with autism. Contact with both professionals and other families who are experiencing similar challenges can be rare and, as a result, many currently feel like they are left to cope alone. Get Set 4 Autism aims to overcome these issues and be empowering for parents, offering the guidance and support that their family needs to flourish.”


Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “I am delighted that Scottish Autism, together with Autism Argyll, is one of the latest groups to receive an award from our Investing in Communities fund. This is life changing money that will benefit those people and communities most in need. This grant will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish the charity every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project.”


The Get Set 4 Autism project will provide mobile support to around 200 families in Argyll and Bute and has been designed in consultation with a range of relevant professionals and statutory bodies. Families will have access to a network of support including having access to our online e-learning programme ‘Right Click’ as well as further resources from Autism Argyll and other local bodies.