Post Diagnosis Support for Adults
Receiving a diagnosis can be both a positive, and overwhelming experience for most people. The type of support you will want to access will be completely depending on your own unique needs. Here are some suggestions of potential support networks and resources you might be interested in post-diagnosis.
Autism advice line
The autism advice line is a small team of autism advisors, who are experienced in working with autistic people and their families, who are available to provide information, advice, and emotional support through telephone, e-mail, or livechat. You can also fill out a contact form, leaving your number, and we can arrange to phone you at a time that suits you.
We understand you may feel uncomfortable about reaching out to a team of people who you do not know. Therefore, you can access our “Meet the Advisors” page to see the names and photographs of those within the advice team.
As part of our Advice Line Plus programme, we are offering extended support. Our phone, e-mail, and live chat are open 7 days a week, 8am – 8pm. We are also offering a Chat to Us service, where an advisor can phone you regularly for a chat.
- Contact us by phoning: 01259 222022
- Or e-mailing: Advice@Scottishautism.org
- Or filling out a contact form
- Reaching out to us through our Facebook “Ask an Advisor” group
- Or accessing our website and starting a Live Chat from the bottom right hand corner of your screen.
One stop shops
A one stop shop is a local hub for autistic people to access support, advice and information. This can be to help with housing issues, benefits, employment, mental wellbeing, training and learning, or to engage in social opportunities. These are only available in certain areas, and you will require to be residing within their catchment area to use their services. Here are a list of your local one stop shops.
- Glasgow – Autism Resource Centre
- Edinburgh & Borders – Number 6 One Stop Shop
- Perth – Number 3 One Stop Shop
- Highlands – One Stop Shop
- Fife – One Stop Shop
- Ayrshire – One Stop Shop
- Aberdeenshire – One Stop Shop
Peer-support groups involve connecting with others who are also autistic to gain a better understanding of your new diagnosis, and make meaningful connections with others. There are various peer support groups throughout the country, and an autism advisor can try to find you ones which are close to you. Here are some common ones:
- Scottish Autism Facebook Affinity Group
Scottish Autism has recently opened a Facebook group as a safe space for autistic people to connect and network.
- Scottish Women’s Autism Network
SWAN is a female only peer network, which is mostly online. They do also have face-to-face meet ups in some areas. It is for women who have a formalised diagnosis of autism and those who self-identify as autistic with no formalised diagnosis. Much of the support provided through this online network is about hearing others experiences and sharing advice and guidance.
- NAS Social Groups
National Autistic Society Scotland operate social groups which are currently running online.
Please contact our autism advice line if you need support finding what may be more suitable/closer to you.
- NAS Person to Person
Person to Person is available to autistic adults (aged 26 and over) who live in: Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.
- Scottish Autism’s Chat to Us Service
At Scottish Autism we understand that this is a challenging time for autistic people, their friends, family and carers. We understand that many people maybe feeling isolated from love ones or due to social distancing aren’t able to connect with people like they would usually. Our Chat calls are designed to offer a support, conversation and signposting to anyone who needs a listening ear.
You can register for this service here.
- Other befriending networks
You can search for other befriending networks in your area
Employment, finances, and study.
You may be looking to access supported employment programmes if you have struggled to access support into employment without your diagnosis. We can help you identify if any suitable programmes are running in your area.
You may also wish to apply for Personal Independence Payments to help financially support you. To do this, contact your local One Stop Shop. Alternatively, you can contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
If you are at college or university, your institution will have a department which provides support for disabled students. Contact them to see to see what support they can offer you. Many universities will have a disability advisor or similar. If you are studying in Higher Education (HNC, HND, or Degree), you can apply for Disabled Students Allowance to help with equipment or to fund a direct support service.
There may be additional grants you are available to access. The disability grants website can help you identify suitable grants.
Social care services
A social care service means having a support worker, care assistant or personal assistant to support you through day-to-day life, or being able to access a day centre or vocational opportunity. You can access these services by contacting your social work department in the first instance, you do not already have Self Directed Support. Our autism advice team are happy to explain the process for you.
Autism Alert Card
This card enables those who carry it to identify themselves as being autistic. The card highlights how the bearer may have differences in communication and interaction. It can also include a named contact who can offer their support to help police, ambulance, hospital and other key public service professionals better understand the person’s needs. Where you can to access your card will depend on where you live.
- Central Scotland
- Strathclyde Website
- Highlands & Islands
- Lothian & Borders
For other ways to identify your support needs in the community
- Sunflower Lanyard
Some autistic individuals choose wear a Sunflower Layard in some environments where they may need extra support or assistance (such as, a supermarket or airport). This can help others identify that they have a hidden disability, and to identify that they may need support.
- CEA Card
A CEA card can be used to allow you to access the Cinema more easily. It can entitle you to one free ticket for a carer or supporting person, and can identify that you may need additional support or adjustments in the cinema. You must be in receipt of DLA, PIP, Attendance Allowance or PIP to access this.
- COVID card
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in temporary changes in social rules and laws. Our COVID alert card can be used to identify to police or other professionals that you are autistic if you are challenged in public, and may find these conversations difficult.
- Hospital passport
A Hospital Passport, or health passport, can be created and kept with you should you ever need to access a hospital, but cannot communicate your needs. You can contact your local health board to see if they have their own, or download another version, such as this one from the National Autistic Society
- Keep Safe Card
Keep Safe is a project between Police Scotland and Local business, to allow people to access a Keep Safe place if they become lost, confused, or frightened when out in the community. Keep Safe participating business can be identified by a logo on their window. You can download a card detailing your information, and download an app to identify local Keep Safe place.
Advocacy or collective advocacy
An independent advocate can help you ensure that your voice is heard, and can help you communicate with others. Collective advocacy is where a group of people who share similar experiences come together to ensure that their voice, and the voice of their group, is heard.
You can find a local advocate or advocacy service here.