Monday, 30 April 2012

What could we do for World Autism Awareness Day?

World Autism Awareness Day originated from a UN directive in 2008, and ever since, has been marked by different countries and organisations in numerous ways... There's an Autism ribbon, and one particular group in the USA came up with the 'light up in blue' campaign, adopted by many, including the National Autistic Society in the UK...

But what about us here in Scotland? Might there be something we can do next year to ark the day that's perhaps distinctly Scottish, or which represents something of our ethos at Scottish Autism? Could we do something at the Parliament building or have our own ribbon for sale, or as an online ' Twibbon' for social media and websites?

Why not let us know what you think....all suggestions gratefully received!

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Sunday, 29 April 2012

New for Dundee

Can you help in Dundee?

As you will know from our newsletter, Scottish Autism is going from strength to strength, broadening its reach, improving and extending its services. This is good news for everyone living with autism in Scotland and their families. To keep up the momentum, we need to grow fundraising and attract new

To this end, I am about to focus on Dundee for some new fundraising activity over the next 12 months – we have a growing service there supporting 17 adults in various ways and, as some of you know, I live closer to Dundee than to Alloa! To help me, I am looking for a handful of supporters who want to raise awareness of autism in the city and get involved in creating some new events.

I am looking at three ways to engage different groups of new supporters with our charity : a dinner, raffle/auction event for the over 35s, a club night idea for the under 25s and some fun ideas for the under 12s to do at school or in after-school clubs, brownies, scouts etc. All three would be take place around Halloween, 31 October, which presents theme and an opportunity not used much by many charities.

I will be sounding out local businesses, colleges and schools over the next few weeks or so. Any funds raised could be used for various Scottish Autism projects, some national such as our advice line and some local, such as the Dundee outreach service.

Would you like to help in any way – however small? I know everyone is busy and time is precious so I am not asking for much commitment – at most meeting once a month until the end of 2012. As a local contact on the ground, you are in the right place to spot opportunities and provide links into the local community. You may also know someone who’d like to help with you.

Have a think and please let me know your thoughts!

Look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,


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Monday, 2 April 2012

The Riverside Museum helps celebrate World Autism Awareness Day

The Riverside Museum: Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel will open its doors to Scottish Autism, Scotland’s Autism charity, for an hour on Friday 6 April (10am – 11am) to help celebrate WAAD (World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April 2012). Scottish Autism’s service users will have exclusive use of the museum during these times.

The Riverside Museum is a favourite of people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and two of its staff - Catriona Hamilton and Robert MacGregor - recently attended a Scottish Autism “Open Minds” meeting to help provide a warm and friendly environment for visitors with autism and further increase the museum’s overall commitment to becoming an even more ASD friendly venue.

Catriona and Robert are also involved in fundraising for Scottish Autism, with Robert taking part in the “Clyde Slide” on Sat 24 March, raising £350.

Catriona said “Everyone at the Riverside Museum is really looking forward to welcoming Scottish Autism and its service users to help celebrate WAAD; we know that we provide a great environment for people on the autism spectrum to enjoy. We are thrilled to be taking this step forward in our long term initiative to set standards of best practice and provide improved service to our ASD Visitors.

I am also developing an “autism friendly route” around the museum which will be ready in the near future to further enhance the experience for people with autism.”

Scottish Autism’s service users are coming from as far afield as Biggar, Lanark, East Kilbride, Alloa and Fife, as well as Glasgow.

Charlene Tait, Development Director at Scottish Autism said "Scottish Autism is delighted by the invitation from the Riverside museum. A core objective of our organisation is to enable people with autism to access daily opportunities and experiences. Some individuals need support to do this as part of a very gradual and individualised process. This opportunity will enable many of our service users to increase their confidence in new situations and has the added benefit of being interesting and enjoyable."

For more information, please contact Scottish Autism on 01259 720044 or go to

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