21st June 2018
South Lanarkshire Council’s Autism Action Plan was given a warm welcome by Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown when it was presented at the Council’s Social Work Committee on Wednesday.
The Plan covers the years 208 to 2023 and commits to continued funding of the ARCH (Autism Resource Co-ordination Hub) which replaced the defunct Pan Lanarkshire Autism One Stop Shop based in Motherwell in 2016.
“ There have been tremendous developments in recognition and support for autism in recent years. In Rutherglen/Cambuslang, we established local education provision in the Autism bases at Cathkin Primary School and Cathkin Secondary School after a long campaign by the Action Group.
Amazingly, according to research by the London School of Economics, autism costs the UK economy £32 billion a year – more than dementia, cancer, heart disease or stroke. It is estimated that something like one child in 67 is on the autistic spectrum. Probably nearly 5,000 people in South Lanarkshire are autistic.
One of the big successes of the previous Strategy was the support of over 50 practitioners to obtain an SVQ Level 2 in understanding Autism which gives a tremendous resource across South Lanarkshire of new people with professional knowledge of the condition.
The key priorities of the new Action Plan are for better diagnosis and support, improved life opportunities, more accessible information, better support in transitions at school or into work or college and improved professional awareness.
It is vital that there is local access to autism services and I have been assured that there is a strong emphasis on this.”