A GROUP that supports families in Clydebank who have a child with a diagnosis of autism received a visit from the town’s MSP.

Gil Paterson described his recent meeting with the Strathclyde Autistic Society (SAS) as “uplifting”.

Families across West Dunbartonshire and Greater Glasgow can receive telephone or one-to-one support from the group – who also run youth groups and befriending services.

Chairperson, Susan Dolan and family support coordinator, Karen Watt, explained how having a child with autism can be a challenging an isolating experience for many parents.

They told the MSP how parents and families who use the service provide support for each other and that many of them have established firm friendships through bringing their children to the group.

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Mr Paterson told the Post: “It is really important that people know about this excellent service and the support that is available from SAS.

“The service is there for parents, families and carers and there’s no need for a referral or anything like that.

“Life for the parents of children on the autistic spectrum can seem different and distant from the experiences of other families and SAS is somewhere they can go and talk openly to other parents and families who understand and share the challenges they face.

“I also have to praise the young volunteers who give up their time and effort on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. These young people show patience and compassion, they are an inspiration to all of us.”

The charity is holding a race night at Centre81 on Saturday, October 5, from 7-11pm to raise funds and awareness of the organisation.

You can find out more about SAS by emailing Strathclyde81@yahoo.com or phoning 0141 952 7711.