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Scottish Autism Service Network. Presentation for the Scottish Government Autism Reference Group 22nd February 2011. Network History. National Centre for Autism Studies (NCAS) established December 2004

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scottish autism service network

Scottish Autism Service Network

Presentation for the Scottish Government Autism Reference Group

22nd February 2011

network history
Network History
  • National Centre for Autism Studies (NCAS) established December 2004
  • Grant awarded Autumn 2005 to NCAS to establish a ‘modest professional network’ (£299,990 for two years)
  • Aimed for an impartial approach
  • University infrastructure, two full time members of staff, secretarial support
project aims
Project Aims
  • provide a hub for direction to services for people affected by ASD
  • provide structure for sharing advice and receiving support
  • have an internet presence for information provision
  • consult with users, families and professionals towards responsive development of the network to meet what the ASD community in Scotland needs
also in specification
Also in specification
  • Work inclusively and in partnership with any relevant organisation
  • Enable partnerships between relevant organisations for training, research and practice
  • Positively influence and develop practice
  • Work collaboratively and specifically with National Autistic Society and Scottish Society for Autism
  • Directly influence the knowledge base across multiple professional disciplines
  • Positively influence the quality of emotional and practical support available to parents and persons with ASD
this meant
Supporting professionals as a bridge to accurate information and advice for families

Parental and user participation and consultation with users, families and professionals

Sourcing as wide a range of local information on existing ASD services across Scotland as possible

Sourcing existing materials, contacts, training programmes, information and publications to avoid duplication and identify gaps

Collecting and disseminating information on local and national events and services

Listening to and taking account of professional needs for training, information, practical advice and forums

Accessing hard to reach families

Sourcing and dissemination of advice

Providing access and links to information via the internet and website with capacity to link to existing autism websites

Dissemination and publication of impartial ASD related information

Development of a database for informed telephone response and routing to information

Dissemination of a quarterly newsletter

Producing and linking to existing well researched material

This meant…..
and also
Establishing and supporting a range of collaborations in field of ASD

Collating and imparting information on existing good practice and resources

Providing workshops, forums and events for development of local structures and collaboration with/between existing structures and services

Discussion of gaps towards shared action

Facilitating forums across Scotland and supporting those that already exist

Improving inter-agency collaboration and sharing of information regarding ASD

Provision of information for professionals

Supporting professionals in providing accurate information and advice for families

Making positive contacts with other disability networks

…..and also
core staffing
Core Staffing
  • NCAS Director
  • SASN Manager*
  • SASN Development Office*
  • NCAS Administrator (*)
  • Volunteers including teaching staff

* Denotes paid staff with dedicated time

the life of the scottish autism services network sasn
The Life of the Scottish Autism Services Network (SASN)
  • October 2005 - October 2007
  • Development Group, careful management and successful grant application - extended until December 2007
  • Final Report February 2008
  • Grant Award Baily Thomas - extended until end March 2008
  • A thin thread of voluntary support, teaching team time, a few networks and physical space
  • Autism Adult Well-being Award - two years from September 2009
participation principles
Participation Principles
  • All Network participants will show consideration and will behave with dignity and respect towards others in all they say, write, and do
  • All Network participants will recognise that different views are held about ASD, and will respect that others’ may hold different views than their own
  • All Network participants will ensure the neutrality of the Network
  • All Network participants should understand that the success of the Network depends upon those involved being willing to truly work in partnership and collaboration and as such they should be open to sharing knowledge and information within the parameters of data protection legislation
  • The Network is a lobbying-free zone
  • The Declaration of the European Parliament on the Charter of Rights of People with Autism will be respected
  • The voices of people with ASD, their families and friends, and the professional working with and for autism, should be heard and listened to by others
features of the website
Features of the website
  • Regular updates and news flashes on the homepage
  • Details on the background and aims of the Network
  • Online membership forms and information about joining the Network
  • An online query form
  • Downloadable versions of the NHS Education for Scotland (NES) Directory for Diagnosis and Assessment and the Information Booklet for Parents and Carers with a Child or Young Person Recently Diagnosed with an ASD
  • A section for events, conferences and training related to ASD 
  • A glossary of terms
  • A searchable information library with links to relevant information, books and resources
  • The Participation Principles
  • Electronic and downloadable versions of all previous issue of the Network newsletter, Network News
  • Links to the NAS Autism Service Directory Scottish resources
  • A news section with links to news stories relating to ASD
  • A research section with details of national and international ASD related research with a specific focus on Scottish research.
achievements at project end
Membership of over 1200 gained since since August 2006

Website established-2,500+ visits per month

Data base of over 7,000 services and resources for reference

Over 140 complex queries and 1,000 standard queries in the last year

Production of 7 Newsletters disseminated nationally to over 2,000

Over 2,200 post-diagnostic packs disseminated

Development and roll out of ‘Autism for Admin Workers’ seminars in 3 locations with over 70 attendees

3 conferences attended by 576 multi-agency delegates from across Scotland

Establishment of 12 regular Network Groups held in locations throughout Scotland

Creation of a Virtual Network to liaise and share information on line

Achievements at Project end
the value of a scottish autism network
The Value of a Scottish Autism Network

The Scottish Autism Service Network is about building the capacity of professionals, service providers, researchers, practitioners, people with ASD and their parents and families by -

  • Providing a Scottish hub for routing to reliable information
  • Creating opportunities through virtual and face-to-face forums for sharing knowledge and information
  • Identifying gaps in service, knowledge, provision, training and research and disseminating that knowledge so that services and organisations can seize the opportunity to meet that gap
  • Providing a vehicle for the sharing of good practice information through virtual and face-to-face networks
  • Creating an environment in which people can work together to find solutions for autism

All evidenced by a growing membership - 1485 +

why bother
Why bother?
  • Unique
  • A growing membership
  • New research - school destinations, life perspectives of people with ASD
  • Embracing new initiatives and issues
  • Strengths of those Networks that we have managed to sustain…….
  • A vision for autism.
recommendation 6
Recommendation 6
  • It is recommended that (existing reports on) the work of Scottish Autism Services Network are formally evaluated with a view to assessing its long-term viability and effectiveness.