This one’s a flier! This month, in association with Autism Network Scotland, the Scottish Women with Autism
Network (SWAN) is delighted to announce the launch of its first information flier: A Guide for Health Professionals working with Women with Autism.

SWAN was established in August of 2012. It aims to raise awareness of how autism affects females, challenging entrenched misconceptions such as autism being a male-only condition and any perceptions of autism as having one-shape-or-size.

We are working to gather and disseminate relevant information and improve access to practical, effective sources of help and support; areas include relational issues, safety, life management advice, housing, employment or finance. These aims dovetail with our goal of providing mutual support and encouragement to the female community living with autism. SWAN is seeking to build a relational framework and sense of community between women on the spectrum.

SWAN is currently a fledgling organisation hoping to stretch its wings in time, with a wider remit, bigger membership and increased resources.

One of SWAN’s first initiatives is the production of leaflets aimed towards groups who may come into contact with women with autism on a professional, or work basis. SWAN is planning to produce a parallel set of documents to assist females with autism as they have to liaise with various individuals and bodies.

The pilot leaflet, launched this month, provides pointers that SWAN hopes will be of value to health professionals as they engage with women who are on the autism spectrum.

Aimed at those working in clinical environment this first leaflet highlights the importance of being understanding and flexible with your patient as she may have issues which make effective patient/practitioner interactions challenging. She may have trouble identifying and appropriately communicating what she is experiencing eg the location and nature of pain. She may also have difficulty understanding and interpreting any questions or instructions or responding appropriately.

We would highly appreciate any constructive feedback on this first venture! You can email your thoughts, suggestions and comment to swan.scotland@gmail.com