Share Magazine Winter 2015
Letter from the Editor
Joe Long, Research Manager, Scottish Autism
As Scottish Autism’s Centre for Practice Innovation nears its first anniversary I am happy to bring you a second issue of our Share magazine. The articles we present here provide exactly the blend of discussions that we hoped our Centre would facilitate: the sharing of practice initiatives from within our services; input and knowledge from our Centre Research and Practice Associates; and reports, voices and opinions from the wider autism and research communities. All reflect our desire to grow channels of communication with the wider world through the Centre, and Share is a big part of that. We were delighted to receive positive feedback after our first issue and hope that members of our community will enjoy the thought-provoking articles presented here.
If a theme emerges from this collection it is the importance of inclusion and partnership working with the autism and autistic communities, for researchers and practitioners alike. Several of the articles here challenge us to think carefully about how we can be better at this. Kabie Brook’s opinion piece on inclusion and accessibility for autism conferences provides practical pointers as well as stressing the imperative of accessibility. Kabie’s input into the recent government-funded seminar on the future of autism research in Edinburgh illustrates how practicable many of these measures are, and the seminar is reviewed by Michael McCreadie. Lorcan Kenny’s report of a project on the language and terminology of autism urges us to think through the implications of the language we use, while Richard Mills and Damian Milton’s reflections on a mentoring programme conceived of, and steered by, the autistic community provides inspiring reading. Richard has been a friend of Scottish Autism for many years and we are delighted that he has accepted our invitation to join the Centre for Practice Innovation as an associate, providing us with insights from his wealth of experience with Research Autism and formerly the National Autistic Society. I am pleased that we have voices from our own practice community included here too: David Harkins and Vicky McMillan report on the incorporation of the ATLASS approach to support people within our autism services, and Jemma Byrne reflects on the journey from being a student learning about autism to a practitioner in our services.
We look forward to sharing more of the Centre’s work as we grow and broaden our collaboration and partnership working. In this spirit, future issues of Share will be guest edited by our Research and Practice Associates, and we are excited at the prospect of what they will bring to the magazine.
Look out for the next issue in Spring 2016, and please do get in touch if you have ideas, experience, or knowledge to share.