Key messages from Working Groups

Based on feedback received at the Listening to Community event, we have started posting summaries alongside the full minutes from each Governance and Working Group meeting on the Strategy website.  These summaries simply contain the key messages from the meeting, the action points from the previous meeting and what’s been done, and the new action points.

We’d love to know if these summary documents are helpful; please contact us to let us know what you think!

Key Messages

Governance Group

June 16 - The One Stop Shop evaluation report will be published soon. The partnership of the heads of Autism Initiatives Scotland, National Autistic Society Scotland and Scottish Autism wrote the foreword and will write a further description of what a One Stop Shop is and does to sit alongside the report.  The Governance Group remains keen to see the outcomes from the Autism Development Fund projects, and Autism Network Scotland will liaise with The Scottish Government to see how they can support efforts to complete the evaluation of these projects, so that examples of good practice can be recognised and publicised. 

A recent conference in Perth was attended by autistic people, parents and carers. The feedback from this event was that people wanted to be more involved with the Scottish Strategy for Autism and wanted more events in their local areas.  The conference planning team wants to involve local authorities and communities in planning their own events so that people can bring their concerns and suggestions forward.  This was recognised as a valuable and important piece of work towards involving the autism community in the Strategy.

The National Autism Co-ordination Project is continuing to work with local autism leads on their autism plans and strategies.  Almost all of the local authorities have now submitted plans or strategies and are starting to implement them.  They have held a second event for local leads, this one focussed on out of area placements and complex care.  They also held an event for service providers and commissioners, and that group was keen to be involved in further collaboration with each other.

Autism Network Scotland has recently visited Shetland to support the implementation of their autism strategy.  They hosted the first ever conference in Scotland focussed on the needs and expectations of women and girls with autism. The Network also enhanced the profile of autism at the University of Strathclyde through participation in Engage Week.

Working Group 1

Goal: Access to integrated service provision across the lifespan to address the multi-dimensional aspects of autism

June 4 - Working Group 1 has reviewed their work plan and have asked that their role and remit be clarified by the Governance Group.The broad remit of the Group has led to questions on what the Group is expected to undertake.

The Group would also like to improve joined up working with the other Working Groups. To this end, the chairs of the Working Groups are to meet with Scottish Government and Autism Network Scotland representatives in August.

Working Group 2

Goal: Access to appropriate transition planning across the lifespan

May 7 - Working Group 2 is in the process of defining a work plan, based on the group’s priority plan, that will guide their actions going forward.  This work plan will be finalised soon so that it can be presented at the next Governance Group meeting on June 16. The group plans to present both big picture, aspirational goals alongside specific and achievable first steps that can be taken now.

The group has been invited to participate in the National Autism Co-ordination Project’s next Collaborative meeting with local leads working on autism strategies and plans.  The topic for the next meeting will be transitions, and the group will further discuss the details of their involvement in their July meeting.

Working Group 3

Goal: Consistent adoption of good practice guidance in key areas of education, health and social care across all local authority areas

April 15 - Working Group 3 would like to continue to pursue the idea of a Scottish research-focused edition of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The group would also like to continue pursuing the idea of a good autism practice festival, where good examples from across Scotland could be shared, and would like to do this in connection with the 4th Annual Conference on the Scottish Strategy for Autism, tentatively scheduled for November 2015.

The group is keen to see two key pieces of work; the final report from the Action on Autism Research Series, and the outcomes from the Autism Development Fund funded projects. The group plans to launch a Knowledge Network on the Autism Network Scotland and is currently working to develop this. The Knowledge Network will be a place where researchers and practitioners can share examples of good practice and discuss it with each other.  It is hoped that this could be formally launched at the November conference.

Working Group 4

Goal: Capacity and awareness building in mainstream services to ensure people with autism are met with recognition and understanding of autism

June 9 - Working Group 4 would like to see more mentoring and sharing of autism experience across health, education and social work. They are exploring the best ways to accomplish this. 

One idea is to improve upon current teacher training.  Another idea is to look at local authorities who have successful programmes and use these as a model for other areas.  Still another idea is to find ways to free up some time for people working in education and health with expertise in autism to share what they know with their colleagues.