Tips for Preparing your Autistic Child for Hallowe’en

Halloween is coming and for most children both on and off the autism spectrum this is one of the most highly anticipated days of the year.  Bonnie Arwine has a few simple tips to help your family have a Happy Halloween.   Trick or Treating Tips
  • Trick or treating is exciting no kid wants to stop getting free candy.  Create a schedule ahead of time for your autistic child.  Decide how long you will go trick or treating and when you will stop.
  • Have something positive to go home to, perhaps a favorite snack or surprise gift to celebrate the end of the night.
  • If you have a child with special diet concerns or severe behavioral issues talk to your neighbors ahead of time.  You will be surprised how often neighbors want to help.  Give them the treats your child can eat ahead of time so that your child can go trick or treating.  Let them know about any sensory issues or concerns.
  For more helpful tips on Hallowe'en, visit the National Autism resources website.

NAS’ Person to Person Service available nationwide

The National Autistic Society are expanding their Person to Person service across Scotland.   The National Autistic Society has been providing support for adults aged 40 and over for the last year through our person to Person Service.  NAS are delighted to be rolling out some aspects of this support across Scotland.  Adults with Autism aged 40 years or over can access our telephone and e-mail support.  Depending on your needs you can receive telephone or e-mail befriending or mentoring on a weekly basis from a fully trained volunteer.   For further information and full details on how the NAS can support you please contact Gillian on Gillian.McCarthy@nas.org.uk or 07768 855275.


Free Visual Arts workshops now taking bookings.

Project Ability has received funding from the Scottish Government to invite people with learning disabilities, the length and breadth of Scotland, to take part in a programme of visual art workshops!   An arts team from Project Ability, a professional artist and a leading learning disability artist, will come to a venue of your choosing; it can be your centre, club or home and deliver a visual arts workshop individually tailored to meet your needs.  The workshop will last between 1 ½ and 2 hours.   Taking part is good for you! Learn new skills, meet new people and be part of a Scotland-wide creative programme.   You can choose from two workshops:   1. Handmade books – using a variety of techniques which could include stitching, binding, marbling at the end of the workshop you will have made a beautiful book 2. Textiles – we can deliver a wide range of workshops including fabric printing, cushions, wall hangings, bags.   We will bring the materials and deliver a workshop for up to 6 people. The work is yours to keep. We will photograph it and post it on the online project blog. Over the next twelve months the blog will record and map the creative achievements of Scotland’s learning disability community.   If you want to take part, would like more information, or want to book a workshop contact:   Elisabeth Gibson, Director, Project Ability Email: director@project-ability.co.uk Tel: 0141 552 2822

Project Search’s September Newsletter is now available

The September 2014 edition of the Project Search Newsletter is now available and can be read here: Project Search Newsletter Sept 2014 (PDF)   Project Search was founded in Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, America in 1996, when Erin Riehle was Director of Cincinnati Children's Emergency Department and she formed a partnership with Susie Rutkowski to create Project Search.   The course is specifically for people who have Autism, Asperger's syndrome or a learning difficulty, to help them get into employment. Our own Project Search is based in the Graham Hills Building of the University of Strathclyde, where Siobhan Martin is our instructor and Katie Ballantyne is our Job Coach—they will help us through the course.   The course will last for one year from August 2014 till June 2015. During the course we’ll all be doing 3 rotations for 10 weeks each and in between the rotations we’ll have 1 week of preparation to help us with our next rotation. In the areas of our rotations we’ll be given a buddy to help us settle in and our supervisor will help support us with any problem we might come across.   There will still be some classroom work involved, such as interview techniques, redoing our CV’s, phone/email practise and applying for jobs. The aim is to gain new employability skills and gain fulltime employment at the end.   For more information, see the new newsletter.