NHS Education for Scotland and Autism Network Scotland held the NES Good Practice Symposium for Support & Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders on December 9th at the University of Strathclyde’s Collins Suite. The symposium aimed to identify and present examples of good autism practice in health and social care settings. Findings from the day will be used to create a good autism practice guide.
After setting the context for the day, the morning began with two presentations under the heading “Listening to the Autistic Community.” Alastair Meek from Aberdeen’s Triple A’s group presented on the importance of listening to and respecting autistic people in healthcare settings. Following this, Kabie Brook from ARGH (Autism Rights Group Highland) and Lisa Sturgess, National Autistic Society, presented together on holding accessible events for autistic people.
Following this, a group from NHS Tayside talked about how they’d adapted hospital admission practices to suit autistic children and young people. Lesley Gibson from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde then spoke about sensory needs and adaptation for paediatric referrals.
Next up was a section on “Sexual Health, Identity and Behaviour” featuring three presentations. First, Corrie McLean of the Family Planning Association presented on a programme they ran teaching sexual health and safety to people on the autism spectrum. Then Chris Cole of Yarrow View Centre in Glasgow presented on autism and transgender issues. Finally Mary McCutcheon, also of Yarrow View Centre, presented on understanding sexually inappropriate behaviours in autism as a means to consider risk.
Rounding out the morning, Audrey Espie, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, presented on adapting a group programme for adults with learning disabilities.
Following lunch, Richard Ibbotson and Cathy Steedman from Autism Initiatives presented together on using technology to increase rural access to services and individualised approaches to one-to-one support.
To end the afternoon presentations, Fiona Findlay, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, presented on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) service users’ perspectives and adapting practice.
The day finished with a round of three workshops, each looking at good autism practice in a particular domain. The domains were Making Services and Interventions Successful, Providing Direct Support and Intervention, and Working in Partnership and the Wider Context.
Below you will find the presentations from the day.
There were also a range of posters available for attendees to view, with further examples of good practice from across Scotland. These posters can be viewed below:
The day was well-received, with the feedback on evaluation forms all very positive.
‘Really inspiring to hear about good practice examples’
‘Good range of topics and services represented. Prompted helpful reflection on what can take back to my service’
‘It’s always very interesting to hear from people who have a diagnosis of ASD about what works/doesn’t’