Aspergers syndrome

One of a series of reports providing the social services workforce with brief, accessible and practice-oriented summaries of published evidence on key topics.

Developed through a process of rapid appraisal, Insights seek to highlight the practice implications of research evidence and answer the 'So what does this mean in practice?' question for each topic reviewed.

This Insight focuses on the transition to adulthood for young people with autistic spectrum disorder.

The Autism Resource Centre (ARC) which is run by Glasgow City Council provides Autism awareness training opportunities for Glasgow City Council staff, other agencies, parents, carers and stakeholders. The ARC has developed and produced an innovative learning experience which provides Autism awareness as seen through the eyes of a young person with Aspergers Syndrome called Aspen. This course gives the information and knowledge to help you understand the strengths, differences and difficulties of those on the Autism Spectrum.

Video case study about John, a 50 year-old man with Asperger's syndrome. He was being exploited by a group of young girls in the community. John has the capacity to make decisions for himself and clearly felt he was getting something from his relationship with one of the girls. He was also giving her money on a regular basis.

People who knew John were concerned for him. With support from his mother, his employer, his social worker and the police he was able to stop giving money to the girl. The girl was warned off by the police, but John really misses his relationship with her.

The UK Autism Foundation (UKAF) is a charitable organisation which began in 2008. It has launched a £10 million fundraising program to realise its aims to build the first ever state of the art Autism Centre in London, build an autism school and to launch initiatives to help families dealing with autism who are poor. The UKAF developed from the work of the Autism Awareness Campaign UK founded in 2000 by parents and carers. The site provides access to the newsletter, and brief information about autism.

Autism Speaks is a registered charity in the UK and was launched by the autism campaigner and philanthropist, Dame Stephanie Shirley in 2004. It is the only charity which raises money for biomedical research into the causes of autism spectrum disorders. The website provides information about autism, including its causes and impact. Information is also provided on the research carried out by the charity, including collaborative research, UK research projects, grants and fellowships, and also details of news, resources and events.

'The same as you?' review of services for people with learning disabilities was published in 2000 and set out a 10-year programme of change that would support children and adults with learning disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger’s Syndrome) to lead full lives, giving them choice about where they live and what they do.

This report was produced by the Day Services Group, a subgroup of the National Implementation Group, which was set up to look at how day services in Scotland are putting the recommendations of The same as you? (SAY) into practice.

Podcast of a talk by Val Cumine, Senior Educational Psychologist, Lancashire County Council, given at "Talking about Autism", Scottish Autism Toolbox conference, Jordanhill, Glasgow, 29/05/2009.

This podcast is presented by Alison Leask who is Chair of Autism Argyll and a teaching associate at the National Centre for Autism Studies at the University of Strathclyde. She recently worked at NHS Education for Scotland (NES) developing information resources for parents and participated in curriculum development for NHS staff. She is a parent of a young man with Asperger Syndrome.

The Autism Education Trust (AET), launched in November 2007, continues to be funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. It is a collaboration between The National Autistic Society, TreeHouse and The Council for Disabled Children, and others working in the autism field in England.

Autism in Mind (AIM), based in England, provides support and information to parents, carers, young people and families living with autistic spectrum disorder, and aims to make a positive difference to the lives of families living with autism.

It has set up several on-line support and information groups for parents and carers to access. The AIM DIET highlights the issues within Diagnosis – Intervention – Education and Training, needed to be addressed by the government.