Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A new strategy for Autism in Scotland...

With the new SNP government firmly ensconced in Holyrood, and with a workable majority, Scottish politics is bound to change over the next five year parliamentary term. Will this new-found power enable them to be much bolder in their policy formation and implementation? With the absolute need (if not the moral imperative)for consensus negated, might this be the time for new, and even groundbreaking initiatves? Time will tell, as usual.

And perhaps, with Worl Autism Day just behind us for this year, this is an opportunity to put forward fresh ideas which might become drivers of government policy. Scottish Autism chief executive, Alan Somerville, writing in the Scotsman earlier this week called for the development of a comprehensive strategy for autism during the lifetime of this current parliament. Others have called for an overhaul of education provision for those on the autistic spectum.

With a majority in the chamber, Michael Russel and Angela Constance now have an opportunity to introduce real innovative measures to change the lives of those with autistic spectrum disorders the length and breadth of Scotland. Measures which might go a long way towards balancing the inequality of provision which curently exists, particularly in remote rural areas. The so-called 'postcode lottery' prevalent in 2003 has not entirely vanished.

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