Renfrewshire Learning Disability Service – Autism Support Initiative Team Leader Vacancy

Renfrewshire Learning Disability Service is seeking a highly motivated and experienced Team Leader for an exciting new autism service, Autism Support Initiative Team. The team, which will be based in Paisley, will provide advice and support across the wider Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership to enable the delivery of person centred flexible services to adults with autism who present with complex and challenging needs. The team will also assist in the development of staff skills and knowledge to actively promote good practice in supporting adults with autism. If you would like further information on the post please contact Fiona Brown or Katriona Hendry on 0141 618 5555. Closing Date for application is Monday 19th October 2015. Applications can be made at:

Employment web resource launched at annual event

On Monday 5th October 2015, Autism Network Scotland’s Autism & Employment Network hosted its third annual event at the University of Strathclyde. The event saw the launch of the brand new Autism & Employment Network website, with the site being introduced by Richard Ibbotson of Autism Initiatives and ANS advisor Annie Watson. The web resource provides information for employers on supporting and hiring employees with autism. The website showcases the resources and services in Scotland that aim to improve the employment experiences of autistic people. The section for employers includes information about making reasonable adjustments for employees on the autism spectrum. There is information about and for supported employment agencies.  These agencies can help people with autism find jobs and develop skills for the workplace. The web resource also has a section for autistic people about where to find support and information related to employment.

The event looked at the employment process, through finding and getting a job, starting in a new job, and support once in work from the perspectives of people on the autism spectrum, services that support them, and employers. Attendees also heard about the recent work of Autism Network Scotland’s Employment Network, and watched the videos they have filmed

David Breslin, a public speaker with Asperger’s Syndrome, offered his own personal perspective on finding work. You can find out more about David’s work on his website.

ANS advisor Lynsey Stewart presented on transitions and the workplace, which included discussion of the findings of the recent Exploring Transitions: Digging Deeper events across Scotland. You can read the final report on this series of events here.

Other presentations on the day included an HR perspective on the recruitment of people on the autism spectrum; experiences of autistic people with job advertising, applications, interviews and selection processes; and a presentation on a service provider and service user’s experiences of starting a new job.

Afternoon workshops were based around discussing different case studies, and what advice should be given to an autistic person, an employer/HR worker and a person/service providing support to individuals at different stages of the employment process. The workshops were facilitated by members of the Autism Network Scotland Employment Network.

Autistic Pride Day

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon signs the Autistic pride canvas.

June 18, 2015 is Autistic Pride Day, a celebration of autistic people as part of the natural neurodiversity of humanity. Autistic Pride is about coming together and rejecting negativity. The day promotes the idea that autistic people of all kinds are all valuable and should be celebrated for who they are.


Organisations around the world celebrate Autistic Pride Day. In Scotland, Autism Rights Group Highland (ARGH) is holding an event in Inverness on Sunday, June 21. Everyone is welcome at this family-friendly event – come along and learn more about autism, ARGH and the Autistic Community!


Autistic Pride Day Inverness

Research into Quality of Life for Autistic Individuals

Denisa Dashi is a postgraduate student at the University of Stirling undertaking a master’s degree in Psychology of Autism. Local Autism Strategies, Stirling Council, Autism Forth Valley and University of Stirling (Psychology Department) are conducting interviews as part of a research study to search the Quality of Life (QoL) of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Additional Support Need (ASN).


Quality of Life is defined by the World Health Organisation as the individuals’ perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. Very little research has been undertaken in the field of autism in relation to QoL due to the challenges of assessing this well-being indicator in people with social communication impairment. Measuring QoL in this disability group nonetheless is of primary importance, to support individuals optimally and plan and commission services. This research therefore would like to include people close to them to describe the perceptions about life they may experience. This is called assessment by proxy.


The purpose of the project is to assess the QoL of individuals with ASD, age 18-25 comparing to age-matched individuals with ASN and ASD and determine the factors that impact on QoL. The factors that will be explored include the level of support received by the individuals, their life style, their level of autism and challenging behaviour, and the impact of their disability has.

The assessments will use standardised assessments of adaptive behaviour and QoL, using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II and two versions of the QoL assessments, the “World Health Organisation Disability Assessment 2.0” (WHODAS 2.0.) and the WHOQOL-BREF. The questionnaires will be completed by interview with carers or family members (interview by proxy) and are simple and should take 60-90 min to complete. We are unable to offer compensation for participating in this study. However, your participation will be a valuable addition to our research and findings could lead to greater public understanding of the quality of life of individuals with ASD and ASN.


Please feel free to ask any questions that might come up about the research procedure or any other detail of the project. This project is under the guidance of Dr. Lorene Amet Autism Development Officer for Stirling and Clackmannanshire. She is a trained neuroscientist, with 12 years of academic research and a further 12 years of experience in autism, including special education and diagnosis. The academic supervisor is Dr Magdalena Ietswaart, lecturer in Psychology at the University of Stirling and in charge of the MSc programme in Autism Research.


If you are willing to participate please suggest a day and time that suits you and Denisa will do her best to be available and come visit you. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask the research team:


Ntenisa Ntasi, MSc Psychology in Autism student, University of Stirling

Scottish Autism’s Centre for Practice Innovation launch ‘Share’ Magazine

Scottish Autism are pleased to present ‘Share’ magazine, the inaugural magazine for its Centre for Practice Innovation.


The Centre for Practice Innovation provides a focus for practitioners, researchers and organisations to come together and collaborate, share ideas and shape innovative autism practice. ‘Share’ is just one of the ways we will be communicating the work of the Centre. The magazine will include an eclectic mix of features, case studies and opinion pieces, along with a ‘burning question’ article that aims to stimulate debate on relevant topics. An essential feature of the magazine will also be the personal insight offered from people with autism.


The magazine will be published twice a year, and there is also a digital version, which you can view here: Share magazine