PE01704: Improve targets and outcomes for autistic people in Scotland


Petitioner: Duncan MacGillivray


Date Lodged: 13 September 2018

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure that an agenda of real and meaningful change for autistic people is pursued by introducing the following targets and outcomes by 2021:

  • That every person in Scotland going through an autism diagnostic procedure will be assessed within a calendar year and receive a statutory services assessment from a qualified social worker as an integral part of this process, within twelve months from the date of their initial referral.
  • That children with autism in mainstream schools will have their assessed needs for classroom support met by an ASL assistant with a recognised autism qualification as part of a mandatory registration process for ASL professionals.
  • That young adults with autism will have a statutory right to specialist support from their local authority up to the age of 25.
  • That an Autism Act will be in place within the next 5 years to enshrine specific rights and services for autistic people in our legal system.


Petition History:

82 off-line signatures have been collected.


27 September 2018: PE1704 by Duncan MacGillivray on Improve targets and outcomes for autistic people in Scotland. The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, all local authorities, the National Autistic Society, the Autism Network Scotland, relevant teaching unions and unions representing non-teaching staff working in schools. Link to Official Report 27 September 2018

20 December 2018: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. It also agreed to write to the local authorities who had not replied to its previous request views. Link to Official Report 20 December 2018

5 September 2019: The Committee agreed to close the petition under Standing Order Rule 15.7 on the basis that there is limited support for the majority of actions called for in the petition. The Committee also agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Education and Skills Committee and the Health and Sport Committee. Official Report of Meeting 5 September 2019

Written Submissions:

Future consultations must facilitate the wider involvement of those affected by autism in Scotland and not be based solely on the views of chosen groups.

More thought must be given as to how to ensure parents and unpaid carers living with autism are supported to be heard.

Families need action and not false promises. So many families are at breaking point and so many children and young people are being failed. We have a system which frankly isn’t fit for purpose. I had to fight for my family member for 9 years before they were diagnosed, nobody listened and was failed miserably, while I was fighting to secure a school place to get them the support they so deserved & needed I had to start the fight for another family member who is now diagnosed with ASD with PDA. I’ve had to fight not only for what we currently have in place but to have their needs recognised because it’s seems easier for certain professionals to say PDA isn’t recognised even though they were diagnosed through NHS. I had to take legal action for their needs to be recognised, to secure a school placement and to gain a Co-Ordinated Support Plan, so far I have avoided 2 tribunals. Sadly our story is all too familiar and the same stories are repeated throughout our Country. Our children/young people & adults deserve so much more. PDA needs firmly put on the agenda as it’s very much a postcode lottery.

Sharon Grant

0:01 on 14 Sep 2018

I am convinced that my family member has pda which is not diagnosed in Scotland or properly understood up here in Shetland. Due to the school not understanding or meeting their needs , they are home schooled. More support, awareness and training is needed in schools.

Johan Pearson

23:15 on 13 Sep 2018

Lack of support and understanding is having a negative impact on children and families , we need better professionals, and also public awareness and education and support

Linda Mcphee

23:03 on 13 Sep 2018

My family member is autistic, but they have all the traits of PDA and it was barely mentioned at their assessment. We are able to cope with their PDA but more training needs to be given in order to support PDA traits

Elizabeth Pollock

22:51 on 13 Sep 2018

Children with Autism are getting missed all too often and it has to stop

Tracy McCartney

17:53 on 13 Sep 2018

A family member of mine has ASD. Been trying to get social work assessment since Oct last year and been told may still be more than a year before they have time!

William Henderson

9:54 on 13 Sep 2018

More needs to be done to help children with autism in schools.


9:23 on 13 Sep 2018

A family member of mine has had a shocking time going through our system and has now closed themselves off from all family. They have not seen or spoken to some family members in almost 3 years. They are a broken individual.

Lisa Donnelly

8:10 on 13 Sep 2018


Rosemary Kane

22:08 on 12 Sep 2018

Please share please.

Evan Conway

21:07 on 12 Sep 2018

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