2018 is an important year for Scottish Autism as we celebrate our 50th anniversary.
Over this time, our services have evolved due to our knowledge of effective autism practice, and to celebrate this milestone year, we hosted our 50 th anniversary conference, ‘Innovation in Autism Practice: The Future is Calling’ at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow at the beginning of November.
Our programme was influenced and informed by a contemporary view that embraces autism as a developmental difference and focuses on a capacity view of the individual. We also focused on novel practice related research that demonstrates the meaningful participation of, or that has been led by autistic individuals.
In addition to a fantastic array of international speakers, we also held a celebratory dinner on the evening of day one of our conference. We were delighted to have our dinner hosted by the Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd. Prior to our dinner we had a drinks reception kindly sponsored by Glasgow City Council, which included a welcome from Bailie John Kane.
At the conference we were honoured to be joined by Her Royal Highness, Princess Marie of Denmark, who is a passionate advocate for greater support and rights for autistic people and the patron of Autism Denmark. Princess Marie made the opening speech after the welcoming address by Charlene Tait, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, where she talked about the value of sharing knowledge and experience as well as the importance of working together to improve the lives of autistic people.
We also sponsored The Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC) to run an Autistic Fringe alongside our conference consisting of daytime workshops, discussions and information sharing as well as an evening event.
We were deeply saddened by the recent passing of Dr. Michael McCreadie. He has been instrumental to the development of the practice ethos of Scottish Autism and made a considerable contribution to the field of autism with his knowledge, insight and his support of autistic people and their families. Michael was a member of the programme board that put together our conference. It was a privilege to know and work with Michael and he will be sorely missed.
Take a look at some of our highlights from the conference. Photo credit: Tina Norris