31 May 2023

New action plan aims to improve lives for autistic children, young people and adults

A new action plan for autistic children, young people and adults has been approved by Aberdeenshire Council.

The Aberdeenshire Autism Strategy and Action Plan aims to improve lives through support services, community access and wider public knowledge and understanding.

It has been developed by Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services and Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) in partnership with other professionals and members of the public with lived experiences.

They became part of the planning group behind the strategy, sharing their experiences and views on what should be in the strategy. This was subsequently subject to public consultation earlier this year.

Across Scotland it is estimated that one in 100 people are autistic, whilst in Aberdeenshire one in 10 school pupil receives support as a result of Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee Cllr Gillian Owen said: “I’m delighted to see this strategy come before committee and that as an authority we recognise the importance of supporting our autistic community.

"There is much work to be undertaken and our ambition is to improve lives by shaping our supports, services and attitudes and that further knowledge and learning will come directly from autistic people thanks to their feedback during the consultation period.

“We thank them for giving their contributions which have been used to develop the final strategy. 

“I look forward to seeing this strategy come to life and ensure we are getting it right for our autistic and neurodivergent communities across all services for children, young people and adults.”

The strategy aims to provide support for autistic people of all ages as well as supporting autistic people from birth and throughout their lifetime.

Alongside this, the strategy looks to support those working within education and children’s services to ensure there is correct training, learning and development for those supporting autistic people.