Autism Network Scotland has recently contacted each of the local authorities in Scotland to request information on children’s activities available to those on the autistic spectrum during the school holidays. Some activities are specifically aimed at those on the spectrum while other organisers offer activities for all children while being happy to support autistic children to take part with their classmates.
While we continue to receive this information from around the country, we would like to share with you that which we have received so far.
If you have any information on playschemes and other holiday activities in your area that are open to autistic children, or on after-school clubs during term time, please let us know about them by sending us an email or by phoning 0141 444 8146.
Aberdeen: Aberdeen Council’s Family Information Service provides a range of information on activities for autistic children. Current activities include autism-friendly film screenings, an outreach group, sports, crafts and other practical information. See their booking form for more information on each group.
East Lothian: The ZAP Group is based in Prestonpans and is a programme for young people on the autistic spectrum from ages 9 to 16. They meet weekly on Wednesday evenings and also plan social outings. The group is currently at capacity and not accepting new members, but email Margaret MacDonald at East Lothian council if interested in joining in future. You can find out more about ZAP from the current issue of Link magazine, pages 20-21.
East Renfrewshire: The Council offers the Inclusive Support Service, which provides a range of social, leisure and friendship opportunities for children and young people who have additional support needs. They try to ensure that the service meets the individual needs and interests of each child and that they provide personal support and or care which is sensitive and encourages inclusion in mainstream activities. You can find out more about the service here.
Moray: Moray Council offer a variety of different sporting groups for schoolchildren from nursery to high school, all of which are open to autistic children. Click here for the full programme of activities.
North Ayrshire: All community playschemes encourage all children who wish to attend to come along and take part. Parents should contact individual clubs if they wish to ascertain whether or not staff had any appropriate training. Find out about available groups here.
South Ayrshire: South Ayrshire Council’s Sports Development Team endorses the Inclusion Spectrum Model as a method of delivering sport and physical activity, and to this end offer open activity through to dedicated activity programmes where this is appropriate or through choice. Their aim is to offer choice of sporting opportunity.
The “Schools Out” summer programme is open to all children. This year there are “deaf friendly” sessions on dry side and swimming sessions after training was delivered to our sports coaches by the National Deaf Children’s Society.
There are children and young people with autism participating in the summer programme. On the 12th May 2015 Amy Webster – NAS Active for Autism Coordinator delivered An Introduction to Autism Awareness for Sport & Physical Activity Leaders to South Ayrshire sports coaches to assist with their knowledge and understanding of autism.
Please see South Ayrshire’s “Learn 2” Disability Sport poster/flier and South Ayrshire Sports Council’s directory which will give you an idea of some of the activity/club/sessions available in South Ayrshire for children, young people and adults.
South Lanarkshire: During the summer SLLC run 3 Additional Support Needs Play Clubs throughout South Lanarkshire for children with varying physical, sensory and learning difficulties, including a number of children who are autistic. These clubs run for 5 hours a day and run in East Kilbride, Hamilton and Carluke.
There is a short referral form that needs to be completed either by social work or the child’s family then once added to our database information is sent out before the holiday period allowing the families to apply for days for their child which SLC then do their very best to accommodate.
Western Isles / Comhairle Nan Eilean Sia: The Summer Motiv8 programme runs throughout the school holidays in Lewis and Harris. It provides both indoor and outdoor sports activities for children aged 3 – 14 years. These activities are delivered in various rural community halls, in Harris and at the Lewis Sports Centre in Stornoway. Children with additional support needs are always welcome at all events. Parents should inform organisers of your child’s additional requirements at the time of booking. A parent or carer may be required to stay with their child to ensure adequate supervision during activities. Full details of the Motiv8 programme can be found here.
Autism Network Scotland continues to gather information from other local authorities and will publish this information on our website in the near future. For further information about activities available near you, send us an email or call 0141 444 8146.