What you told us:
- That more needs to be done to raise awareness and acceptance of autism among the general public.
- That we need to adopt a strengths-based approach to autism, focusing on individuals' strengths, skills and abilities.
- That autistic people should be able to access community facilities like any other citizen.
- That autonomy and peer support are important to autistic people.
- That housing has a major role to play in delivering positive outcomes for autistic people.
What we will do next:
- We will support national autism public awareness campaigns to improve how autistic people and their families' needs are met and understood within their communities and across all aspects their lives.
- Scottish Government will develop national autism awards to highlight and promote the successes of autistic people in Scotland as well as innovation and best practice in autism services.
- We acknowledge the growing number of autism friendly places in Scotland including airports and shopping centres, and encourage organisations to consider making their facilities autism friendly and enabling.
- We will promote the extension of the Blue Badge Scheme, which now covers carers of people with dementia, autism and Down's syndrome, meaning carers and relatives of people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic can apply for a badge.
- We will share the best practice from assisted travel training work nationally and explore with Integration Authorities how assisted travel training can lead to better outcomes for young autistic people to travel independently and access their community.
- The Scottish Government will explore the role of advocacy services in supporting autistic people across Scotland.
- The Scottish Government wants everyone to have a home that is the right size, in the right location and able to meet their needs and to ensure people are able to live independently. Local authorities have a key role in planning for the housing needs of everyone within their local community including people on the autistic spectrum. We have also put collaboration with the housing sector at the Integration Authorities thinking and planning by requiring them to produce a Housing Contribution Statement as an integral part of their Strategic Commissioning Plans.
- Scottish Government will ensure flexibility in the housing grant subsidy arrangements within the Affordable Housing Supply Programme ( AHSP), so that social landlords are supported to build specialist housing in accordance with local need. Appropriate adaptations can also help disabled people stay in their own home. We are working with Integration Authorities, disabled people's organisations and the housing sector to improve access to these services for those who need them.
- We will work with local housing partners to pilot an autism housing project to inform housing practice and awareness of autism to ensure the housing needs of autistic people are well understood across the housing sector.