First Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined 39 MSPs in pledging to make Scotland autism-friendly at a Too Much Information campaign event we held at Holyrood.

Jenny Paterson and Nicola Sturgeon

This year, we’re asking the public to learn about autism and the small changes they can make to their behaviour to make Scotland autism-friendly – and we think it’s important that decision makers lead the way!

We invited MSPs to pledge to:

  • make Scotland autism-friendly
  • raise autism in Parliament
  • learn about constituents' sensory needs
  • speak clearly and avoid using jargon.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, attended the event, spoke to our autistic volunteers and tried our unique virtual reality experience.

Mental Health Minister, Maureen Watt, was one of the first to make a pledge. She said: “Being autistic can mean hearing, seeing and feeling the world in a different way and it can often be a very daunting place. As the Minister for Mental Health I am proud to be supporting The National Autistic Society Scotland’s Too Much Information campaign. I know that understanding from the public can make a real difference in helping to reduce the isolation that too many autistic people face.”

Jenny Paterson, director of The National Autistic Society Scotland, said: “Autistic people and their families have told us that increased understanding is the single biggest thing that would improve their lives. That’s why we’re asking people to take time to learn about the small changes they can make to their behaviour that make a big difference – such as avoiding jargon and showing patience when others seem stressed or anxious.

“I’m pleased the First Minister and Minister for Mental Health were able to join us at Scottish Parliament to show their commitment to making our nation autism-friendly.”

Around 58,000 people in Scotland have autism. Together with their families, they make up around 232,000 people with a connection to autism every single day. To find out more about our Too Much Information campaign, please visit our website.