A free online resource developed to support the inclusion of autistic learners in Scottish Early Learning and Childcare settings, Primary and Secondary schools.

The Scottish Autism Strategy

The Scottish Strategy for Autism was created in 2011 to ensure that progress is made across Scotland in delivering quality services for children and adults on the autism spectrum. This is a 10-year national strategy for autism that addresses the entire autism spectrum and the whole lifespan of people living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Scotland.


Staff education, training and development remain at the heart of the Scottish Strategy for Autism and the 2012 Autism Toolbox and this refreshed 2019 Autism Toolbox have been developed and published to support this.  

The Scottish Autism Strategy vision

Our vision is that individuals on the autism spectrum are respected, accepted and valued by their communities and have confidence in services to treat them fairly so that they are able to have meaningful and satisfying lives.

The strategy includes a summary of the strategy (including vision, values, goals and indicators of best practice), detail of the evolution of the strategy, the strategic context, related policy and recommendations.

Chapter 1 provides an overview of what autism is and the challenges which individuals with the condition and their families face in everyday life. It then describes how the autism strategy will address their needs over the next 10 years.

Chapter 2 explains the context behind each of the recommendations and why these are critical to success. 

This guide is intended to provide a framework for the development of these strategic plans around Scotland.

It provides information, drawn from a wide range of professionals, individuals and families of people on the spectrum, regarding the challenges faced by people with ASD across the lifespan and ability range and how these might be best addressed.

This is a flexible approach which allows for the guidelines to be used both generally, across services and locations, but also, more specifically, as required by individuals (see worked examples Appendices 1-3 to illustrate how it might be used). It is not however, a comprehensive list of all possible interventions and supports nor can it provide information regarding the efficacy of specific interventions.

This document states the continuing commitment to improving the lives of autistic people in Scotland. It sets out priorities for action through to 2021 to improve outcomes for autistic people living in Scotland.

The Scottish Government strategic outcomes relate to the vision, values and goals of the Scottish Strategy for Autism, contribute to all of the National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes and resonate strongly with the ambitions set out in A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People. These outcomes are unchanged from the outcomes framework launched in 2015.

Strategic Outcome One: A Healthy Life 
Autistic people enjoy the highest attainable standard of living, health and family life and have timely access to diagnostic assessment and integrated support services.

Strategic Outcome Two: Choice and Control 
Autistic people are treated with dignity and respect and services are able to identify their needs and are responsive to meet those needs.

Strategic Outcome Three: Independence 
Autistic people are able to live independently in the community with equal access to all aspects of society. Services have the capacity and awareness to ensure that people are met with recognition and understanding.

Strategic Outcome Four: Active Citizenship 
Autistic people are able to participate in all aspects of community and society by successfully transitioning from school into meaningful educational or employment opportunities.

Further reading

The above strategies can be downloaded from the Resources sub-menu (left). A further range of key documents supporting the Scottish Strategy for autism are available on the Scottish Government website.