What is autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability and is sometimes referred to as an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There are three main areas of difficulty that affect those on the spectrum – difficulty with communication, social interaction and social imagination. Key challenges include difficulty in: an ability to relate to others; social communication; and flexibility of thought. The condition impacts on the ability to effectively contribute and participate as active and valued members of the community resulting, for some, in increased isolation and affecting families as a whole.

What are the challenges faced?

It can be difficult to raise awareness of autism as people with the condition may not appear to have a disability.  It is estimated that there are over 2,500 people aged 15+ in Fife with an ASD.


What is happening in Fife to help people?

To address the Scottish Strategy for Autism which was launched 2 years ago, Fife Council, with NHS Fife and partners are developing a Fife Autism  Strategy which will outline how we are developing and improving services for individuals with Autism living in Fife.

In Fife, there exist a number of multidisciplinary groups addressing themes in relation to education, health and social work services which support those on the autistic spectrum.  

The following 2 projects provide an idea of the type of work ongoing in Fife


The Glass Wall Project

Fife’s Glass Wall Project is a pilot project to help address the feeling of isolation experienced by many people with autism.

The ‘Glass Wall Project’ has been set up to help address the issue of isolation. Supported by representatives across services, including that of Kinetic and local ASD support groups, S1 – S3 pupils at Kirkland High School have formed a Focus Group to look at ways of raising awareness of Autism, and other isolated groups, within the Levenmouth area: saying: ‘it’s important to make it possible for others to have friends and feel part of the community’ and ‘to bring people together’.

The enthusiastic group is keen to get started and its members are coming up with ideas that will help them get the message across, including creating posters, leaflets and working on a play. Interest in being involved in the project is gaining momentum across other schools in the area too.


One Stop Shop

A new One Stop Shop has been set up in Fife to provide help and advice on aspects of Autism. Supported by Scottish Autism the One Stop Shop offers people with autism, their families and professionals information and advice about autism as well as the kinds of support services that are available in the area and how to access them.

As well as acting as an information hub, the One Stop Shop works closely with other groups and agencies, collaborating to understand and respond to the needs of the autism community.

The approach is based on an understanding that autism is multidimensional and that each individual and family may face unique challenges and require varying levels of support and so will provide information and advice that is meaningful to them.

The experienced and friendly one stop shop team provides:

  • Support to access the services you need, whether they are in the community or autism specific.
  • Guidance to overcome barriers such as an unaddressed diagnosis and delayed intervention of support.
  • Access to a library of information and resources about autism.
  • A safe and friendly place to speak confidentially to someone who understands autism.
  • One-to-one sessions, workshops, training days and group activities for children, families and professionals.

Rooms are available to book - a training room for 10-15 people plus a sensory rooms which is free for use with people with Autism and their families/support workers.

Contact Scottish Autism for more information.


Further resources

There are many resources available below are details of some that representatives from two local ASD support groups have compiled to help others.

My Transitions Guide for young people

My Transitions Guide for parents, professionals

Telecare Scotland

All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism

NHS Connecting for Health

Research Autism

ATLASS (for parents , group, local authorities and voluntary sectors agencies) – Assessment, Intervention, Training and Advice

Playfield Institute Library

ADHD Information  Services

Attention Fife

Hands on Scotland

Learning Resources on ASD for G.P’s and Primary Care Practitioners


Department of education

Hands on Scotland

Respect me





Stress and anxiety in teenagers


Hands on Scotland



Carers net


Common knowledge



See Also

Useful Links

For more information contact

Social Work Enquiries
Tel:  03451 55 15 03 Contact Social Work Enquiries online




Social Work Enquiries
Tel: 03451 55 15 03 Contact Social Work Enquiries online

Emergency Out of Hours Social Work Services
Tel: 03451 550099
By Post: New City House 1 Edgar Street Dunfermline Fife KY12 7EP
Go Top
This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more information read our privacy policy.