NASplus is a new project developed in partnership with West Lothian Council, with the support of NHS Lothian, to tackle social isolation of autistic people in the community by helping them to decide what help they need and supporting them to access it.
We aim to improve and prevent mental health conditions by tackling the issues that lead to them before they happen. This project is funded by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, and we will be continually developing our offer and adding updates to this page.
Who we support
This free, highly flexible support service is for you if you:
- are aged 16 or over
- have a diagnosis of autism or are in the process of getting a diagnosis
- live in the West Lothian area
- want to improve your self-management skills so you can live a healthier, more independent life
- have struggled to access any support services previously due to being perceived as reasonably independent
- would hugely benefit from our preventative support to develop the ability and confidence to engage with others and take more control over your life.
Support you can choose from
You will be presented with a ‘menu’ of support options, and will select from one to all of them depending on the support you feel you need. These include:
- Independent travel skills training – from buying tickets for local and national journeys or reading timetables, to using the internet and telephone to find travel information and planning your own outing from start to finish.
- Social skills training course – using our modular programme, ‘Socialeyes’, you will learn social interaction skills or develop alternative social strategies. This will be structured around your schedule and the things you want to do.
- Social groups – you’ll have fun meeting new people living in your area through our social groups in West Lothian, develop social skills and practise those you may have learnt through social skills training. We are still developing these groups so please contact us for further details.
- Autism awareness sessions – we will support you to better understand your autism and how it affects you, to be more aware of your own needs and more confident in expressing how they will be met, working with you to develop strategies that will help you to support yourself. You’ll learn self-management skills such as keeping healthy, and keeping yourself safe, including understanding the criminal justice system.
- Signposting service - if we identify that it is needed, we will help to signpost you to other local services, including our other support services, and help you recognise where you can access informal support in the community for yourself.
Initially, the support will happen either in your home, or a place of your choosing, as we continue to develop a base or series of bases in West Lothian. You will be able to decide where this happens.
Person-centred planning process
For us to help you enhance your health, wellbeing and future prospects, it is crucial that you are involved and in charge of your support. That’s why we work together to give you the confidence to identify your own outcomes and the things you want to achieve, and help you develop the long-term strategies and skills you need to achieve them.
You are at the centre of planning any activities, sessions and training that you decide will benefit you. This means they will be based around what suits you, and not anybody else.
When your support from the project has ended, you will be able to use the visual plan you have developed to shape any future support you require, such as any of the four options offered by Self-Directed Support
How to access this support
Either you, or a professional working with you, can contact us to make a referral for support. Within two weeks we will let you know if the service will meet your needs and, if so, arrange an initial assessment meeting.
We’ll then help you to put together a person-centred planning document which will act as a tool for you to take ownership of your own needs. We will regularly work with you to evaluate the progress you’ve made, whether you would like to work on any other skills or if you are ready to move on and put what you’ve learnt into practice.
The project is fully funded, so you will not need any additional funding unless we identify a need for you to access additional services, in which case we will fully support you through the process. We will also ask you to pay for any activities you do with your social group.