Autism Rights Group Highland

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We have been funded by the Scottish Government to provide two short courses as part of the National Post Diagnostic Support Service.

The first course is available to autistic people (18+) who have received an autism diagnosis within the last two years. The second course is available to parents of autistic children (under 18) whose children have received their autism diagnosis within the last two years.

Course Outlines:

1. Welcome to the Autistic Community

This will be an online group for Autistic adults (18+) living in Scotland who have received a diagnosis within the last two years, i.e. between 1st Dec 2018 and 1st Dec 2020.

The course will have a maximum of 10 attendees with an autistic facilitator and co-facilitator. The course will consist of 6 weekly sessions followed by 4 monthly sessions (10 sessions of 2 hours in total), times and days to be confirmed in consultation with participants. The course will begin in January 2021.

This group will be run as an introduction to what it means to be autistic living in a society geared towards neurotypical people. It will include how to make connections to the autistic community, what neurodiversity means, what relevance neurodiversity has to autistic people and how to connect to services available across Scotland. We will also cover topics such as access to benefits, how and when to disclose, disability rights including Human Rights, the Equality Act 2010 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The themes will be centred around autistic empowerment; we will discuss autistic history and the history of Autistic People’s Organisations including setting up an APO, what organisations already exist (other disability organisations including those run by disabled people themselves) and the cultural and political aspects of an autism diagnosis.

There will be time for general discussion and expert speakers will be invited to some sessions.

2. Autism – what does it mean for my child and family?

This group is for all parents of autistic children diagnosed within the last two years with a particular relevance for those with children diagnosed within the last year and living in Scotland, i.e. between 1st Dec 2018 and 1st Dec 2020.

The course will consist of 6 weekly sessions followed by 4 monthly sessions (10 sessions of 2 hours in total) for up to 10 attendees with one facilitator and one co-facilitator, times and days to be confirmed in consultation with participants.

The materials for this group will be written, presented and facilitated in a way that will ensure that autistic parents feel supported and included. This will also be of great benefit to non-autistic parents in attendance (parents will not be expected to disclose status during sessions but this will be an optional question in evaluation). Sometimes parent courses are inaccessible to autistic or other neurodivergent attendees or can cause distress through using negative language and stereotypes; we wish to provide a truly inclusive course.

This is an opportunity for parents of autistic children to meet other parents and to learn about what autism means from the perspective of autistic people with direct lived experience, including some who are parents of autistic children themselves. The course will cover ideas for connecting to the autistic community, Neurodiversity, the history of Autistic People’s Organisations and practical daily living experiences: tips and workarounds that autistic people have found useful.

There will be time for general discussion and expert speakers will be invited to some sessions.

How do I register interest?

If you are interested in joining either of these two courses please send an initial email to info@arghighland.co.uk stating your geographical location (local council area), year of diagnosis and age or age of your child, as appropriate.

Please note that as this project is running as a pilot and you should be willing to take part in evaluation - this will include a short survey at the start and end of the course.

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