New Autism Initiatives Project - Autism: Life in Colour

World Autism Awareness Day - Tuesday, April 2 2013

Autism Initiatives has received funding from the Scottish Government for an exciting new project. Autism: Life in Colour aims to capture the views of people with autism about their lives by inviting them to submit two photographs or video clips, both taken on April 2nd 2013, World Autism Awareness Day.

 The purpose of the project is to provide a visual representation of the Government’s Autism Mapping project which aims to gain an understanding of what life is like for people with autism throughout Scotland. Autism: Life in Colour will add to this understanding directly through the eyes of the person with autism. This project will be unique in including people of all ages with autism across Scotland.

Getting Involved - People with Autism

On 2nd April we would like you to take two photos or video clips and submit them to us via our website.

The two images should capture the following:

  • “What’s the best thing about today?” 
  • “What’s the worst thing about today?”

Images from Autism:Life in Colour will feature in a number of projects:

  • Photographs- a display of images to support the final Mapping Project report and the outcomes (conference, launch events etc.)
  • Video – a video will be edited from the video clips received. Autism: Life in Colour will then be available to view on the website
  • Website – to host a virtual gallery of the photographs and videos submitted
  • Exhibition – ‘The Gallery on the Corner’ – Scotland’s Autism Art Gallery will develop and host a photography exhibition of the best 24 photographs
  • An analysis of the themes of images submitted will provide some fascinating insights into what people with autism actually think.

To participate, simply take your photos or videos on the 2nd April, then from 3rd April until 31st May you will be able to submit your images and videos via the Autism: Life in Colour website.

(You will also submit your name, your email, and a few details about your pictures. Guidelines of copyright and technical issues will also be on the website). 

Getting Involved - Friends, Supporters and Families

We want people with autism from all parts of the spectrum to participate. We encourage families, friends and supporters to get involved and assist them if needed. Please get in touch with us with your comments and questions.

The website will soon have all of the details on how to participate.

Call for papers for the special Scottish edition of the Good Autism Practice (GAP) Journal

GAP is dedicated solely to promoting good practice in supporting children and adults with autism and Asperger’s syndrome and is published twice a year by BILD. This special Scottish edition aims to showcase the research, projects and initiatives which have developed as a result of the Scottish Strategy for Autism and other examples of good practice across Scotland. The co-editors for this special issue are Professor Tommy MacKay and Dr Glenys Jones.

You can find out more about GAP here.

Submissions of papers from practitioners, people with autism and family carers disseminating details about their work across Scotland are welcome in order to showcase improved outcomes for children and adults with autism and their family members. The deadline for submitting a paper is Friday 28 June 2013.

You will find further notes for authors and a copyright form to be completed and sent in with your paper below:

Notes for authors

GAP copyright form

We have also attached three previous papers from the journal to give you an idea of the nature of the GAP papers:

The development and evaluation of a support group for siblings of children on the autism spectrum

Developing a diagnostic and support service for students with Asperger syndrome at university

Developing a diagnostic and support service for students with Asperger syndrome at university

Please email your paper to  [email protected]. If you have any queries regarding the special edition of the GAP journal please contact Lesley Barcham and Tracey Tindell from BILD at  [email protected].

Malcolm Sparrow hosts successful Structuring Services and Harm Reduction Work for the ASD Community

Scottish Autism in conjunction with the Scottish Government hosted a full day workshop on Structuring Services and Harm Reduction Work for the ASD Community on Wednesday 5th December 2012 at the John McIntyre Conference Centre in Edinburgh.

The workshop was run by Malcolm K. Sparrow, Professor of the Practice of Public Management at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is Faculty Chair of the school’s executive programmes on regulation and enforcement, corruption control, policing, and counter-terrorism. In March 2010 he was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel, to advise the Recovery Board on protecting the integrity of the economic stimulus package.

Professor Sparrow is no stranger to Scotland, having given lectures and run workshops on regulation, the control of “harms” and in refining the business model for SCISWIS, where he delivered a Scrutiny Reform Master Class. He has worked extensively with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency in refining that agency’s approach to “Better Regulation.” The Scottish Government’s response to the Crerar Report was also informed by reference to Professor Sparrow’s work, in particular his book The Character of Harms: Operational Challenges in Control, Cambridge University Press, 2008.

It is his thinking set out in this book which could be of great assistance in our work in achieving the goals set out in the Scottish Strategy for Autism.

Here is more information about the programme of the workshop and Malcolm Sparrow and his work.

Scottish Autism Opens One Stop Shop in Fife

The Scottish Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson MSP, visited Dunfermline to open Scottish Autism's new One Stop Shop, an innovative new service designed to support individuals on the autism spectrum and their families in Fife.

The project is part of a nationwide initiative funded through the Scottish Government's Autism Strategy. The Fife One Stop Shop is one of six of its kind being funded and operated across the country, in association with three partner organisations, Scottish Autism, the National Autistic Society and Autism Initiatives.

You can read more about the launch of the One Stop Shop in Fife here

Dual Website Launch

National autism initiatives have been launched at the University of Strathclyde on the 6th February. The Scottish Government-funded Autism Network Scotland website has been set up to provide impartial and reliable information about autism. It will create networking opportunities, help raise awareness and promote the sharing of good practice.

A second website has been created to disseminate information on the progress of the Scottish Strategy for Autism (SSA). It was launched by the Scottish Government and will be a key source on the implementation of the SSA and act as a communication tool for the National Autism Reference Group and associated sub-groups.

Emeritus Professor Aline-Wendy Dunlop, of the University’s School of Education, said: "Autism Network Scotland play a strategic role in ensuring the professionals working in the field of autism have the knowledge and information to do the best job possible. Funded by Scottish Government, the Network maintains an impartial but pivotal role in delivery of the SSA by promoting and supporting contact between professionals, dissemination of good practice and innovative approaches. Our new website is launched today and we have also been asked by government to maintain and support their strategy website, which brings transparency to the roll-out of policy across Scotland.

"Part of supporting professionals in their daily work is to work in inclusive ways and to listen and learn from all involved – people on the spectrum, families and the professionals that support them. This is an important day – the two websites will be a valuable tool for communication about autism in Scotland and beyond."

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson MSP said: "Individuals with autism are affected in different ways, so I am delighted that these websites are being launched today to offer a comprehensive range of information, advice and support.

"The new Scottish Strategy for Autism website will enable the autism community to keep updated with the progress on the strategy. The Autism Network Scotland website will allow people with autism and their families to access information, advice and take part in discussion groups and it will help professionals offer the best services and assistance, by sharing guidance, experiences and research.”