New autism project for Argyll and Bute

L to R: Alison Leask, Chairperson Autism Argyll; Mary Hamilton, Autism Support Team Manager, Scottish Autism; Emma Queen, Funding Development Officer, Scottish Autism;  Joyce Munro, Autism Advisor, Get Set 4 Autism; Charlene Tait, Director of Development, Scottish Autism; Maureen Mackintosh, Autism Advisor, Get Set 4 Autism.
L to R: Alison Leask, Chairperson Autism Argyll; Mary Hamilton, Autism Support Team Manager, Scottish Autism; Emma Queen, Funding Development Officer, Scottish Autism; Joyce Munro, Autism Advisor, Get Set 4 Autism; Charlene Tait, Director of Development, Scottish Autism; Maureen Mackintosh, Autism Advisor, Get Set 4 Autism.

A new programme which will provide post diagnostic support to families with children up to the age of 18 who are on the autism spectrum has been launched across Argyll and Bute.

The ‘Get Set 4 Autism’ project, delivered in partnership with Scottish Autism and Autism Argyll, aims to reduce the feelings of isolation which can be experienced by families living with autism in rural areas.

It will promote a greater understanding of autism, improve communication between parents and professionals and ultimately equip parents with the information and practical skills to enable them to better support their child.

Scottish Autism received £548,622 Investing in Communities grant, from the Big Lottery Fund, for the five-year ‘Get Set 4 Autism’ project.

The project, designed in consultation with a range of relevant professionals, will provide mobile support to around 200 families in Argyll and Bute. Autism Advisors will work with families to enable them to understand the diagnosis, and equip them with knowledge and practical skills.

Further support will come in the form of Scottish Autism’s comprehensive online support programme ‘Right Click’, as well as resources from Autism Argyll and other local bodies.

Autism is a lifelong, development condition that affects the way a person communicates, interacts and processes information. Some people will have more subtle difficulties where others will have complex needs requiring more intensive support.

Charlene Tait, director of development at Scottish Autism said: “It can be incredibly tough for families living with autism in rural areas, who have limited access to resources and support. We are delighted to launch this new project in association with Autism Argyll, to provide these families with post diagnostic support, and hope that we can use it as a basis for developing a successful model that can be rolled out across other areas of Scotland.”

Alison Leask, chairperson at Autism Argyll, said: “There is often a strong sense of isolation felt by rural families who have children with autism. Contact with a wider support network of professionals and other families who are experiencing similar challenges can be rare and, as a result, many currently feel like they are left to cope alone. ‘Get Set 4 Autism’ is designed to produce a package of effective measures to help families in Argyll and Bute overcome these issues.”