National Autistic Society (NAS) Scotland called on the Scottish Government to continue its strong commitment to people with autism with the launch of a new initiative.

The campaign, Count us in, was launched at the Scottish Parliament on January 30, when Merlin actor Richard Wilson delivered the campaign report to Mark MacDonald MSP at Holyrood, accompanied by people with autism and their families.

The report, called Count us in: it pays to listen, calls for the Scottish Government to continue with its commitment to people with autism and their families by giving them a say in the decisions that affect them.

To back the report up, NAS Scotland spoke to people with autism across Scotland, and the results were: 
• 91% want more say over their support
• 79% think that public understanding of autism is poor or very poor
• 69% of adults with autism haven’t had an assessment of their needs since turning 18
• 66% feel they do not have enough support.

Dr Robert Moffat, national director of NAS Scotland, said: the charity supports the Scottish Government’s Autism Strategy for Scotland, saying that it is addressing the enormous challenges currently faced by the estimated 50,000 Scots who have autism. “The Government is also targeting £13.4 million to better support people with autism. This is a significant sum of public money and everyone involved wants to make the most of the opportunities it presents.

“We are encouraging Government, local authorities and a range of organisations to listen to people with autism and work with them in order to maximise the effectiveness of the Autism Strategy for Scotland. We believe such a partnership is essential to improve quality of life for people with autism and their families.”