Our Track Record

Our Track Record

Here are the weblinks to some of the work that we've done since getting together to form Autism Rights. Some of these are still extant, others are within our own website, as these external weblinks are broken.

However much work we do, we need YOU to back us by becoming a member of Autism Rights and by contacting your MSPs to draw attention to our work.

We need to do it for ourselves - because no-one else will. We realised this back in 2005, when we formed Autism Rights. You will see from reading our documents that we have covered very important issues that have been ignored or have not been acted upon by the funded groups. They are now following our lead - but presenting this as their own initiative. There are parent groups in the rest of the UK who have also done a tremendous amount of work on these issues, and it is parents who have really shaken things up on the campaigning front, mainly through the judicious use of social media, with the huge networking opportunities that it presents. Autism Rights is now making better use of social media - and hope to reach out better to other parents through this. 

  • We can take people with autism out of the provisions of the Mental Health Act, where they are included within the scope of `mental disorder`.
  • We can stop the forced `treatment` of autistic people just for being autistic!
  • We do need your help to get this change!

Autism Rights began its campaign to review the inclusion of people with Learning Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorders within the Mental Health Act with a `Call for Action` on World Mental Health Day in October 2011. We invited several disability charities to support this `Call for Action`, and were supported by just 2 - PASDA and the SDEF.

The convenor of Autism Rights gave a presentation in February 2013 to the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on Human Rights, entitled `Should people with Learning Disabilities and Autism be included in the provisions of the Mental Health Act?`. The fully referenced version of this presentation formed part of the response that was submitted on behalf of Autism Rights to the Scottish Human Rights Commission's `Scottish National Action Plan` (SNAP) on Human Rights*.

The convener gave a presentation on the same topic to the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on Learning Disability at their November 2012 meeting and then to the Scottish Parliament's Cross Party Group on Disability in December 2014, again on the same topic. Following this, Pauline Nolan, Inclusion Scotland's Policy Officer, asked Autism Rights to give a presentation to a special `Grasping the Thistle` event in February 2015.

* http://www.parliament.scot/S4_EqualOpportunitiesCommittee/General%20Documents/Autism_Rights.pdf - This submission contained our submission to the SHRC’s National Action Plan

http://www.scottishhumanrights.com/scotlands-national-action-plan/  - click on the words `broad participation`

The Scottish Human Rights Commission included a number of the arguments made by Autism Rights in their Participation Report, especially in their section on mental health.


Autism Rights' submissions and written evidence to Parliamentary and Government consultations.

13th Report, 2015 (Session 4): Stage 1 Report on the Inquiries into Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths etc. (Scotland) Bill:-
http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/90984.aspx - see `Annexe B List of other written evidence`at bottom of page for names of those who submitted evidence.
Written submission from Autism Rights:-


Autism Rights' response 23 Apr 2014 to a Consultation on draft proposals for a Mental Health (Scotland) Bill:-
https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20160118192616mp_/http:// www.gov.scot/Resource/0044/00448791.pdf


Health and Sport Committee Stage 1 Report on Mental Health  (Scotland) Bill Published 30th January 2015 SP Paper 663 3rd Report, Session 4 (2015) Submissions received as part of the Mental Health (Scotland) Bill
http://www.parliament.scot/S4_HealthandSportCommittee/Reports/her-15-03w-rev.pdf (See page 41 - late submission by People First).
Autism Rights' submission


Mental Health Strategy for Scotland 2012-2015: Consultation Responses
Autism Rights response:-


Autism Rights' submission to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Inquiry:-


Responses to Draft Identity Management and Privacy Principles consultation December 2009
Autism Rights' submission to consultation on Privacy Principles - the civil servants have made something of a mess of this submission, by putting an attached document at the head of the submission. This submission starts with the heading - `Evidence by Autism Rights to the Home Affairs Committee inquiry into  `a Surveillance Society`, as this was one of the documents on which the submission was based.


Some of our FOI requests.


Some media coverage of Autism Rights' campaigning









Submissions to Petition PE01494

Autism Rights seconded a parliamentary petition on mental health legislation.  Petition PE01494: Mental Health Legislation called on the Scottish  Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 to ensure that it is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights:-
We made two submissions to this petition (in December 2013 and February 2014) on behalf of Autism Rights, which are available through this weblink.

These are the direct links:- Autism Rights' Submission to Petitions Committee:-
Petition PE01494:Mental Health Legislation:-
Petition PE01494:  Modern Mental Health Myths - Further Evidence from Autism Rights:-

BBC coverage of the petition:-

Letters to the Editor

http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/14412099.We_need_a_change_in_attitude_towards_those_with_autism/  - a classic letter from Christine MacVicar, one of our founding members, who died in 2017. Christine's research into the medical problems of people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, and the impact that this has on their behaviour and their perceived mental health continues to inform the work of Autism Rights.