Scottish Autism Strategy

As some of you may be aware, the Scottish Government is funding some places on an Open University course called Understanding the Autistic Spectrum. This is part of the national autism strategy which aims to improve services and support for individuals with autism across Scotland.
I’ve been wanting to formalise my knowledge of autism for a while now so when I got an email last week telling me about the course I thought I’d register my interest and see what happened – nothing ventured, nothing gained! Well on Thursday morning, the registration papers dropped through the door. To be quite honest, I didn’t quite believe my eyes so I had to ring up to check. The lovely lady I spoke to confirmed that I do indeed have a place on the course. Hooray!
I’m really looking forward to refreshing my knowledge and formalizing what I’ve learned on the job over the last 11 years. It all starts on 3rd November and the course lasts 20 weeks. Time to get organised and buy a lever arch file!

Meeting the Lovely People at Kindred

This morning I bravely donned my waterproofs and headed into Edinburgh to do an informal training session for a group of parents at the offices of Kindred in Edinburgh. It was pleasure to meet those who attended and to learn more about their children and their experiences in relation to supporting communication.

For those of you who don’t know about Kindred, it is an Edinburgh-based charity which provides a host of support to families of children who have learning difficulties (including autism). Kindred offers a huge variety of support from advocacy services to simply providing a listening ear. If you live in the area and you have a child with a learning issue, I’d strongly recommend a look at the Kindred website.

Today, I joined one of the parent groups and we did a session aimed at developing understanding of the key areas to think about when you’re supporting a young person’s communication skills. Broadly speaking, we discussed:

  • Understanding the child or young person’s communicative abilities
  • How to make the most of the environment the child is in and build in opportunities for communication.
  • Tips for helping the child’s communication partner to get the best from the child’s communication skills.

I look forward to working with Kindred again in the future!