On 11th June 2013, Autism Network Scotland hosted a Learning Event at the University of Strathclyde. Feedback from our previous learning event and recent online survey demonstrated that transition is an important topic for many autism practitioners who were keen to discuss both good practice and challenges related to transition that they experience working in the field of autism.


The day was introduced by Emeritus Professor Aline-Wendy Dunlop, M.B.E. of Autism Network Scotland and the University of Strathclyde. You can view Aline-Wendy’s presentation: Tackling Transitions


Scott Read of the Association for Real Change (ARC) presented on the document Principles of Good Transitions Planning – Improving Transitions for young people with Additional Support Needs which has been developed by members of the Scottish Transitions Forum (run by ARC Scotland). It aims to help young people and their carers to achieve positive outcomes through personalisation, independence, choice and control of their transition process.

ARC is a membership organisation, which supports providers of services to people with a learning disability. They provide a range of services such as high quality information, networking opportunities, learning disability training, qualifications, publications, and Disclosure checks. ARC is committed to promoting best practice within the learning disability sector and works with others such as the Department of Health, Skills for Care, and Big Lottery Fund through a range of projects.

Audio only:

Scott’s presentation slides: Scottish Transitions Forum & ARC Presentation


Gordon McHugh and Barbara Phillips, South Lanarkshire Council, spoke about Transitions Co-ordination and the ‘Work It Out’ Project.

The ‘Work It Out’ Project provides support to people who receive additional support needs at a South Lanarkshire secondary school, or know someone who does. Work it out team can help with finding a work placement and developing personal skills. Activities may include a work placement from the David Livingstone horticulture programme. This programme includes SVQ qualifications or problem solving and team building skills.

Audio only:

Gordon and Barbara’s presentation slides: Work It Out Transitions.


Neil MacLeod of The Shirlie Project spoke on Transition in Autism Service Provision.

Neil’s role is to co-ordinate the Project and drive it forward. He is responsible for the development of the in house training programme. The Shirlie Project is a supported employment agency and was established in October 1994. The Shirlie Project represents people who need support looking for employment within their chosen field. The aim of the Project is to find paid employment for those who need support in gaining or maintaining employment, enable individuals to achieve their potential and payment at the going rate and strive towards independence and respect in the workplace.

Audio only:

Neil’s presentation slides: Transitions in Autism Service Provision – the Bigger Picture

Joan Melville and Mary Alexander 
of Edinburgh Council spoke on Aspire and their Transition Team.

Aspire is a specialised social work team within the Department of Health and Social Care. The team assess individual needs and develop support packages to enable young people with disabilities to plan and achieve their preferred post school options. Aspire, part of the Transition Team, works specifically with young people with Asperger Syndrome/high functioning autism.

Audio only: Part 1

Part 2 

Joan & Mary’s presentation: Aspire


Autism Network Scotland is currently planning a further Transition event for September 2013. If you would be interested in attending and would like more information, please contact autism.network@strath.ac.uk.