Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan has pledged to support his autistic constituents and make Scotland an autism-friendly nation.
He made the pledge at an event held at Holyrood by The National Autistic Society Scotland.
As part of its ‘Too Much Information’ campaign, the charity is asking people across Scotland to learn about autism and the small changes they can make to their behaviour to be more autism-friendly.
Dr Allan commented: “I have pledged to help my autistic constituents by helping to make Scotland autism-friendly.
“I am pleased to support The National Autistic Society Scotland’s campaign and I hope that people across the Isles will take time to learn about autism, a condition which affects around one in 100 people.
“Despite the fact virtually everyone has heard of autism, just 15% of people with autism believe the condition is understood in a meaningful way,” he continued.
“There is a lot of work to be done to widen the public understanding of autism and help people realise there are small changes they can make to their behaviour that make a big difference to autistic people.”
Research has revealed that 66 per cent of autistic people feel socially isolated, and 44 per cent sometimes don’t go out because they are worried about how others will react to their autism.
Jenny Paterson, director of The National Autistic Society Scotland, said: “Autistic people and their families have told us that increased understanding is the single biggest thing that would improve their lives. That’s why we’re asking people to take time to learn about the small changes they can make to their behaviour that make a big difference – such as avoiding jargon and showing patience when others seem stressed or anxious.
“I am grateful to Alasdair Allan for joining us at Scottish Parliament to show his commitment to making our nation autism-friendly,” she added.
Around 58,000 people in Scotland are autistic. Together with their families they make up around 232,000 people whose lives are touched by autism every single day.
To find out more about The National Autistic Society Scotland’s Too Much Information campaign, please visit www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/tmi.aspx