Here in Scotland, the government have just announced that more money will be made available to help those who care for adults with autism. This will take the form of training for carers which had previously only been made available to professionals. Positive Pathways, provided by the Richmond Fellowship Scotland, hopes to train carers of adults on the autism spectrum using funding provided by a Government grant of £84,000.
This is very welcome news and a sound investment as well. Diagnoses of adult autism have increased dramatically over the past ten years and this has created an increased demand for services. Training for carers will be a significant addition to existing services.
Very often, adults diagnosed with autism have struggled all their lives with an undiagnosed condition which has impacted upon every part of their lives. They have usually developed strategies to mask or deflect attention away from their difficulties. This extra money will hopefully lead to a better understanding of just what it is like to be autistic, and of the everyday challenges faced by those affected.
Better diagnostic services have identified many more people affected by autism who will have often suffered in silence since childhood, or else been treated by psychiatrists for depression and anxiety with long term medication when what they actually needed was a specialist service which could offer help and support such as those offered by ARC in Glasgow, and Scottish Autism. Let's hope that this extra money will take us further down the road to that goal.
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