First Centre For Adults With Autism Opens in Glasgow

Glasgow, Scotland: A resource centre to help thousands of adults with autism was opened in Glasgow on January 24.

The centre, the first of its kind in Scotland, will help people with autism and their families from across the city and beyond. It will also reduce the amount of time it takes to see a specialist to be diagnosed.

The Glasgow Autism Resource Centre is housed in newly-refurbished
accommodation in Ruchill Street, Maryhill. A team of 12 experts, including a
clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, speech and language therapist, local
autism co-ordinators, clinical autism co-ordinators and an information
officer, will be available to provide diagnosis and offer support. It will
also offer a training programme for professionals and carers where they can
learn more about the condition.

An information suite with a resource library and computer facilities will be open to anyone with an interest in autism.

The Scottish Executive, which is investing £750,000 in the new facility over a three-year period, has also given £300,000 over two years to Strathclyde University to create a new National Service Network for people with autism at its National Centre for Autism Studies. Experts, who say few facilities for adults with autism exist in Scotland, have welcomed the new facility.

John Cameron, clinical manager of the Adult Autism Service, said:
“People with autism have the same rights as others to fulfil their potential
but it’s important they receive appropriate support to do this.”
Recent statistics estimate there are about 4,000 adults and 1,000
children in the Greater Glasgow area who are affected by autistic spectrum
disorders.

Jane Hook, whose daughter, Rachel, 18, was diagnosed with autism at
the age of six, said it took doctors four years to realise she had the
disorder. This week, she said from her home on Crow Road, Glasgow, that
such a centre had been needed for many years.

“I realised there was something wrong when Rachel was two. But she was
six when she was finally diagnosed with autism and then there was no service or facilities to help people with the condition. Rachel has now moved into into her own flat and has 24-hour support. She still doesn’t speak very well and finds it hard to interact socially and she doesn’t like having a lot of
people around.

“People with autism get put into the same pot as people with learning
disabilities. This is the sort of centre where people can get the proper
diagnosis and support they need and where everything will be geared towards people with autism.”

The new centre was opened on January 24 by Scotland’s Deputy Health
Minister, Rhona Brankin, who said: “Improving diagnosis will lead to greater
demands on existing services provided by local agencies.”

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