Children’s charity calls for joined up approach to Autism

Leading Scottish Children’s Charity –  Aberlour Child Care Trust – has asked for Scotland’s decision makers to approach the vital issue of how we address autism in a more joined up way.

The charity have issued the call as the Autism (Scotland) Bill receives its first reading in the Scottish Parliament tomorrow, whilst a key government strategy for autism is being developed separately, at the same time and with no obvious link up.
Aberlour’s Head of Policy Alex Cole-Hamilton said:  “As a charity which specialises in providing residential and respite care and support for children with autism and their families we are fully supportive of the principles of Hugh O’Donnell’s Bill. We are however equally supportive of the general direction of the Scottish Government’s emerging ‘Autism Strategy’ but are deeply concerned by the apparent absence of connection between these two bodies of legislative work.”

“Autism affects thousands of Scottish families and is too important an issue to get snarled up in the different silos of statutory decision making. To have parallel approaches to this vital issue is all very well but when those two approaches are developed in isolation then this could lead at best to a duplication of effort and at worst to conflicting solutions to the same problem.   If the Bill gets past stage 1 tomorrow, we will be working to ensure that it reflects the content of the strategy, that the strategy recognises the content of the Bill and that the architects of both collaborate to act in the best interests of those affected by this condition and their families.”