World Autism Awareness Week

World Autism Awareness Week 2019

World Autism Awareness Week is from 1 to 7 April 2019. There are lots of events happening round the city during the week and in the weeks surrounding it.

Autism After Hours

Monday 25 March and Tuesday 21 May from 5pm to 7.30pm
Location: National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF

There two after hours events we coming up at National Museums Scotland for young adults (14+) and their families/ carers/ youth workers. 

These events are designed to be an informal opportunity for autistic teenagers to enjoy our temporary exhibitions and new permanent galleries in a small group, on their own terms at a time when the public aren’t in the building. On each date the exhibition curator will be there to share their expert knowledge of their subject matter.

The first event on 25 March focuses on the Robots exhibition and the second event on (21 May focuses on our new Ancient Egypt Gallery. At both events there will be an informal break out space, some handling objects to explore and a chance to have a discussion with the curators.

The events are free, but places must be booked in advance by contacting Laura Bennison, Community Engagement Officer by emailing or phoning 0131 247 4199. 

Find out more on the Museum of Scotland website.

Autism friendly Museum Collections Centre tour 

Friday 29 March 
Location: 10 Broughton Market, Edinburgh EH3 6NU

The Museums Collections Centre is an amazing treasure trove of objects spanning a wide range of subjects.

Visitors taking a tour can view the reserve collections of the social history, Museum of Childhood and applied art collections. These items are not currently on display in the museum venues, and are held in store so that they can be accessed for research, lent to other museums for exhibitions, or used in our own temporary exhibition programme. Objects at the Collections Centre range from dolls' houses to wartime cooking, 18th century water pipes to teapots, and pantomime costumes to 2000 Queen Victoria clay pipes.

This event is free, but you must book a place by emailing Rachel Howe on 

Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club book reading

Monday 1 April from 10.30am to 11.30am
Location: Muirhouse Library, 15A Pennywell Rd, Edinburgh EH4 4TZ

Edinburgh author Jane Evans will be reading from her book 'Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club'.  Local autistic artist Ruth Mutch, who illustrated the book, and her mother Kirsten will also talk a little about autism.

This is a children's story whose main characters happen to have autism, dyspraxia and dyslexia, but it's not made explicit. The book is aimed at childred aged seven to nine, and reonate with any child who feels left out at school. The book's real purpose is to help parents and teachers discuss with children, in a gentle way, what it is like to be autistic or have a learning difficulty.  

You can see more of Ruth's illustrations on her website and read more about the book at Your Stories Matter.

Information stall

Tuesday 2 April from 12pm to 2pm
Location: The Courtyard, Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG

A drop in event for City of Edinburgh Council staff.

Information stall

Tuesday 2 April from 12 to 2pm
Location: Edinburgh University Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ

A drop in event where people can go along and find out more about autism.

Library panel event

Thursday 4 April from 6.30pm to 8:30pm
Location: Central Library, 7-9 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EG
The event is free but ticketed.  Get your ticket 

Come along and hear these four passionate autistic people talk about their work, ideas, hopes, and experiences of being autistic in a neurotypical world. Our Panel consists of:

Alan Gardner. Alan has Asperger’s Syndrome. Over the years, Alan has created 40 Royal Horticultural Society gardens and won numerous awards at Chelsea, Hampton Court and Tatton Park. Most recently, Alan won a silver medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015. Alan is a Cultural Ambassador of National Autistic Society and also a Patron of  Pathways, a leading UK Mental Health Charity & Autism West Midlands.

Sonny Hallett. Sonny is an illustrator, natural history enthusiast, and autistic activist. They are a co-founder and current chair of AMASE (Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh), an organisation run entirely by autistic people, aimed at advocacy, education, and autistic community-building. Sonny is co-author of AMASE's recent mental health report '‘Too complicated to treat’? Autistic people seeking mental health support in Scotland', and they serve on the Scottish Government Autism Strategy Review Group. They are particularly interested in support for late-identified autistic people, the intersection of autism and mental health, and communicating autistic perspectives.

Colin Williamson. Colin believes storytelling is not only an ancient art form, it is a great medium for children who struggle with conventional learning. Children with learning differences like Dyslexia or Autism can discover the joy of learning through storytelling.

Murray MacDonald. Murray is 25 and has autism. Last year he started up a new campaign called Autism on the Water - a campaign to raise awareness of autism through yacht racing and sailing  and to encourage people on the spectrum to discover the benefits of the sport.

WAADStock 2019

Thursday 4 April from 6.45pm to 11:30pm
Location: ATIK, 3 West Tollcross, Edinburgh, EH3 9BP

Waadstock is an annual music event showcasing the talents of musicians, performers and DJs with autism. The event is organised and hosted by people with autism. Atik nightclub (formerly The Cav) is an Edinburgh institution and Mark and his team have accommodated the event for the past three years. The event is for over 18s and is free to attend, but we encourage donations, which are shared equally between the performers.

Waadstock is always an entertaining and inspiring evening with a bond between the audience and the performers.  Feel free to come along - you don't need a ticket you can just show up.

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