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Highlands and Islands AUTISM Society
Caithness Branch

Health & Welfare

The Highlands and Islands Autism Society was formed in August 1993 by parents, teachers and friends of autistic children who shared a concern for their future, particularly the provision of suitable education and the lack of adult facilities.

It quickly became apparent that there was a local need for an organisation such as ours.   At least 40/10,000 people have Autistic spectrum Disorder.  In the past there was widespread ignorance of autism but there is now a growing awareness of the particular needs and difficulties faced by people with autism and their families.

We offer support, information and advice to all those people and members are available on the phone for anyone with a need to talk to someone who may understand their problems.

The local branch of HIAS meets on the last Tuesday of the month, alternating between Wick and Thurso.  Anyone with an interest in autism is welcome to join us.

Autism is a disorder of development affecting social and communication skills.   children with autism often have accompanying learning disabilities but, whatever the general level of intelligence, they share a common difficulty in making sense of the world in the way others do.  In addition, there is a form of autism known as Asperger Syndrome.  this occurs at the more intellectually able end of the range of autistic conditions.  The phrase "Autistic Spectrum Disorder" is now used to cover the whole range.

What causes autism?
This is the question that everyone asks.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the most difficult to answer.  There is strong evidence that autism can be caused by a variety of physical reasons, all of which affect brain development - it is not due to emotional deprivation or the way you have been bringing up your child.

The degree to which people with autism are affected varies enormously.
Some signs of Autism  are -
Difficulty with social relationships.
Difficulty with verbal communitcation.
Difficulty with non-verbal communication.
Difficulty in development of play and imagination.
Resistance to change in routine.
Displays Indifference.
Indicates needs by using and adult's hand.
Echolalic -copies words like a parrot.
Inappropriate laughing or giggling.
No eye contact.
Joins in only if adult insists and assists
Does not play with other children
One-sided interaction.
Talks incessantly about one topic.
Bizarre behaviour.
Handles or spins objects.
Lack of creative pretend play.
But can do some tasks very well, very quickly
but not tasks involving social understanding.
These and other signs may be indicative of autism but only referral to experts can give a sure diagnosis.
To join  contact or
speak to someone

Sandra Jones 
Tel 01955 602852

Jim & Jane Coll
Tel 01847 851701

Educ. Psychologists
Rhind House, Wick
01955 602362

Social Work
01847 893835
01955 605040

Caithness General
01955 605050

Community Learning Disabilities
01955 603486

Caithness General
01955 605050

HIAS (Caithness)
has links with the Scottish Society for Autistic Children and National Autistic Society and
Autism Scotland



Frequently asked
Questions Memo

Autism Web Ring

Teaching Students
With Autism

Links 2 Go

Links to Site
Pertaining to Autism

Autistic Net

The Scottish Society
for Autistic Children
Hilton House
Alloa Business Park
Whins Road
FK10 3SA
Tel  01259 720044
Fax 01259 720051

The National Autistic
393 City Road
London EC1V 1NE
Tel  0171 833 2299
Fax 0171 833 9666

The International Autistic
Research Organisation
49 Orchard Avenue
Croyden CRO 7NE
Tel 0181 777 0095
24 Hours
Fax 0181 776 2362

Caithness Community
Care Forum
c/o Stevens

Harbour Quay
Tel   01955 603453
Fax  01955 606682

Holds a  copy of the
Contact a Family Directory
for more details of rare conditions and support groups in the UK.
The directory holds more information about the
above groups and can also be accessed online at
0171 383 3555

See also -
Community Care Links
on this site for Carer Contacts etc.