MORAY MP Douglas Ross recently completed anautism awareness course which was held for Members of Parliament in Westminster.
Douglas was asked by constituents if he would take part in the course which was run by the National Autistic Society. Commenting afterwards, Douglas described the course as excellent with an easy-to-follow presentation and helpful advice which would better allow him and his staff to assist constituents with autism.
Douglas said: “I was very fortunate to be able to take part in the understanding autism session which was specifically for Parliamentarians and I was one of the MPs who immediately signed-up for it.”
The sessions were introduced by the Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan MP, and were based on the National Autistic Society’s Understanding Autism sessions, which are delivered in communities all over the country.
Douglas added: “It was very interesting and informative, and I was delighted to be presented with my Understanding Autism certificate at the end of the course. I’m grateful to all the local constituents who contacted me about this course and I was pleased to attend after they alerted me to it.”
The sessions are delivered by volunteers and aim to increase public understanding of autism and outline the challenges that autistic people may face, highlight their strengths, de-bunk common myths about autism, and provide parliamentarians with practical guidance on how best to support autistic people in MP surgeries and in their constituencies.
Anna Bailey-Bearfield, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the National Autistic Society, said: "We were really pleased to see Douglas attend our charity's first ever Understanding Autism session for MPs.
"It’s really encouraging to see MPs want to learn more about how to support their autistic constituents, as they play a really important role in helping to create a world that works for autistic people.
"Now we hope MPs will put what they learned into practice so that autistic people’s needs are better understood.
"82 MPs attended our first session. Over the coming weeks and months, we're hoping to work with many more MPs, so we can help turn better understanding into action."