Autism charity hopes service expansion will reach more North-east families

Mark McDonald

An autism group is fundraising to grow its services in the region this year, following the news thousands of people are missing out on vital support in the

Grampian Autistic Society (GAS) is looking to get more families joining its outreach support programme, in a bid to help people with autism spectrum conditions to reach their goals and lead more independent lives.

Last year it was revealed around 84% of adults with autistic spectrum disorder are unknown to services in the city.

In August, Donside MSP Mark McDonald wrote to NHS Grampian to request an urgent meeting and find out what can be done to find the estimated 1,700 undiagnosed and unsupported people in the city.

It is a similar situation in Aberdeenshire and Moray, with an estimated 2,000 undiagnosed people in the combined council areas.

Now GAS, which hosted a Valentine’s Afternoon Tea yesterday at the Park Cafe, Hazlehead, is working to expand its existing services.

The charity, based on Carnie Drive, is encouraging people to come to their indoor and outdoor activities that focus on developing children’s social and communication skills, as well as services for siblings.

A spokesman for the organisation said: “The group provides the opportunity for siblings and young carers to participate in new activities and socialise with people who understand their situation, while also developing their knowledge and understanding of autistic spectrum conditions (ASC).

“Our vision is that all those living with an ASC in the Grampian region are supported and encouraged to fulfil their potential within their community and society.”