Scottish Strategy for Autism: outcomes and priorities 2018-2021

Document setting out the priorities for action through to 2021 to improve outcomes for autistic people living in Scotland.

A Healthy Life

What you told us:

  • That autistic people need early access to a clear diagnostic pathway.
  • That support services need to be in place for autistic people and their families both during and after diagnosis.
  • That information on the support available to autistic people, their families and carers needs to be consistent, relevant and up-to-date.
  • That good mental health is of critical importance to autistic people and that more support is needed in this area.

What we will do next:

  • Scottish Government will continue to facilitate improvement for autism assessment and diagnosis for all age groups and genders through Improvement Programmes and the Autism Knowledge Hub. [13]
  • Scottish Government will work with partners to develop a National Post-Diagnostic Support Toolbox which pulls together information on all the local resources available to autistic people and their families.
  • Scottish Government will continue to support Integration Authorities to contribute to achieving the national autism strategic outcomes.
  • The Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027 sets a vision for Scotland that applies to everyone. [14] Its themes of parity of esteem, improved early intervention, access, physical health improvement and rights and recovery apply regardless of diagnosis. People with autism have higher incidence of comorbid anxiety, depression and other mental disorders. General improvement work as described in the Mental Health Strategy therefore needs to equally apply to people with autism as other mental health disorders where appropriate. Action 33 of the Mental Health strategy commits to a review of how the provisions in the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 fulfil the needs of people with learning disability and autism, taking forward new legislative measures if necessary. This review is underway. [15]
  • We will continue to explore alternative solutions to out of area placements for people with complex care needs and autism. Scottish Government will engage with Health Improvement Scotland on improvement programmes designed to improve how autistic people in Scotland are met and understood within all services, including the Living Well in Communities work. [16]


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