National Autistic Society Scotland has today been awarded £45,000 in emergency funding from the Scottish Government to provide important support to autistic people, carers and families during the lockdown.

The disruption of daily life and routine resulting from the pandemic and the ‘lockdown’ has been very challenging for autistic people and their families, 70% of whom are struggling with mental health difficulties and often intense anxiety.

Research from the charity has also shown that two thirds of autistic people in Scotland feel socially isolated and this was before social distancing was introduced in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish Government has recognised the fact that many autistic adults and families with autistic children are extremely vulnerable at this time and awarded the charity funds to provide specialist and moderated online support groups to reach 500 autistic people carers and families.

The online groups will allow staff to share information on staying safe and healthy as well as helping those with mental health needs and anxieties.

In addition, the online groups will create a place for people to connect and chat about whatever they wish to – from film & TV, to cooking and other hobbies. They’re a great way for people to build confidence, make connections and help with communication skills. It’s also a way for families to share tips on looking after their autistic child,

Free to join, the online groups are open to autistic people, carers and families. There are online groups representing different geographical areas, young people, parents, as well as particular interest groups such as ‘Film club’ as well as a Girls Group.

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